President Jacob Zuma has warned of a crisis if the ANC goes ahead with its decision to recall him.
In the unprecedented interview with the SABC, Zuma said he would respond to the decision to recall him later.
“It’s just two months from a conference. I think we are being plunged into a crisis. My leaders will regret this. Some of my comrades may not like this,” Zuma said.
However, he was unclear on whether he will resign or not, hinting he is still open to negotiation.
The ANC has given Zuma until Wednesday to resign following its decision to recall him.
He said the party also hinted that it was open to negotiation in its official letter informing him of the decision.
The letter was delivered by secretary general Ace Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte on Tuesday morning.
Zuma still maintained his innocence, repeatedly saying that the party’s top six, led by party president Cyril Ramaphosa, had failed to give him reasons and facts on why they are recalling him.
“I have not defied but disagree with a decision taken. It is baseless; no motivation that says it’s fine. [When you are recalled] you must be convinced with facts… even if you don’t agree with them. It is being done in a manner that I am being victimized here,” Zuma said.
In his continued defence that he is not defying the ANC, Zuma said he understood the powers of the party to deploy and recall its deployees, using his experience as a senior official in the party’s armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe during the struggle for liberation as an example.
“[The] ANC can deploy and remove [cadres]. I totally agree and I did this at times. I deployed soldiers to go and fight inside the country, even in [circumstances] where they might be killed or arrested…. deploying cadres is what I know best,” he said.
However, he said the positions of president and deputy president of the ANC were exceptions, adding that they are elected through conference and can’t be removed “willy nilly”.
The ANC has said, in a short statement in reaction to Zuma’s interview with the public broadcaster, that it notes the “context to the decision of the NEC to recall”.
Zuma said the decision was rushed.