Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande faces a chopping block following last week’s secret ballot vote in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.
It is understood that Nzimande voted with the opposition, aiming to remove President Zuma from power.
According to SA Breaking News, the president indicated that Nzimande’s position may not be safe after criticizing his leadership.
Nzimande is also known as the general secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), an alliance partner of the African National Congress (ANC).
The SACP has criticized the leadership of President Zuma after his relationship with Gupta Family was challenged by opposition parties.
The alliance has called for Zuma to step down as the head of the state and threatened to leave the ANC and go its own way.
The president, who was addressing an ANC gathering in Parys in the central Free State, said that he is considering instituting disciplinary measures against ANC members who voted against him in the no confidence motion.
In the meantime former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has backed members of the ANC who voted with the opposition, saying enforcing disciplinary measures against MPs will be unconstitutional.
The vote was held last Tuesday, and Zuma narrowly won by 198 votes to 177. More than two dozen ANC MPs are believed to have voted against him.
Zuma told the gathering that the MPs who refused to toe the party line brought the party “into serious disrepute”.
“Nobody can say they did not know what they were supposed to do,” he said.
President Jacob Zuma survived the motion by 21 votes, with a number of ANC MPs voting with a hope to axed him from power.
The president accused Western countries of being behind the push to have him removed early from office. He said it was countries intent on destabilizing emerging economies.
“Part of what is happening in Parliament is not an innocent political thing. It is anchored on a bigger strategy,” he said.
Zuma has lost much support over the last few months, as the number of scandals he’s been implicated in has continued to grow, including a decision by the country’s Supreme Court that he had violated his oath of office by refusing to repay money spent on his private residence.The ANC is scheduled to have its elective conference in December, where Zuma is expected to step down as president of the party.