He accused the opposition parties of attempting to tear the ANC apart by filing a motion to impeach Zuma.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) filed the motion after the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday against Zuma in the Nkandla scandal, in which Zuma is accused of abusing public funds worth 246 million rand (about 16.4 million U.S. dollars) in security upgrades at his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal Province.
The attempt to tear the ANC apart by removing Zuma would fail, Mantashe told reporters at the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg.
“If it works that way, there is no party left. We are calling on all sectors of society that are unhappy to talk to us. But when we all shout in the media, we will never understand one another,” he said.
Mantashe said the ANC is not a party centred on an individual.
Zuma is not above the ANC and is the president of the ANC alongside a collective, Mantashe said.
He refuted the notion that Zuma was above the organisation and having cost the party voters.
“We are not a party that revolves around a leader. If there is a loss of votes, I also can’t be exonerated; I am part of that leadership collective. We can’t stand on the side and be clean and say the one who is standing in dirty water is President Zuma. If we lose votes, we lose votes as a collective. We are part of the collective that is elected with comrade Zuma,” said Mantashe.
The ANC is not a party of saints but a party of human beings who are given tasks and, from time to time, make mistakes, said Mantashe.
Earlier on the day, Zuma said in a live television broadcast that he, on his behalf and on behalf of the government, apologised for the much “frustration and confusion” caused by the Nkandla case.
Zuma pledged to abide by the constitutional Court ruling regarding the Nkandla case.
“I have consistently stated that I would pay an amount towards the Nkandla non-security upgrades once this had been determined by the correct authority,” Zuma said.
The court ruling found that Zuma flouted the Constitution by ignoring Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela’s findings into the Nkandla case.
The court also found that Zuma must repay for the upgrades at his private home.
Mandosela released the “Secure in Comfort” report in March 2014 into the final findings into the scandal. She claims that Zuma’s family unduly benefited from the project and asks Zuma to pay part of the money on the project, a demand rejected by Zuma then. Enditem