"Reckless" President Jacob Zuma should resign, the South African Communist Party (SACP) said on Friday.
The political bureau of the SACP resolved this after meeting in Gauteng earlier on Friday, following Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle, said acting SACP spokesperson Malesela Maleka.
"This recklessness has provoked widespread concern and anger within the ANC itself, and across all sectors of our society. We have reached a decisive moment in which, in the considered view of the SACP leadership, Zuma must now resign."
The SACP thought it was "frankly outrageous" that former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and others were fired, while the "worst performers" continued to enjoy presidential protection or even promotion.
The party would be meeting with provincial structures, alliance partners, and social movements and formations in the coming days.
"It is imperative that popular anger is mobilised and organised in constructive ways that unite South Africans of all persuasions and backgrounds in the defence of our country's interests."
Maleka said this is not a factional struggle or a struggle against an individual but one against a network of parasitism and patronage.
SACP ministers instructed not to resign
He said the timing of the reshuffle, and the deepening banking troubles faced by the Gupta family, laid bare a disturbing reality.
"Increasingly our country is being ruled not from the Union Buildings, but from the Gupta family compound. More and more, critical ANC decisions are being decided not by elected and collective structures in Luthuli House but in Saxonwold."
There had been uncertainty on whether the communist members in Cabinet would resign en masse if Zuma fired Gordhan.
Maleka put that to rest on Friday evening, saying the political bureau had instructed its executives to remain at their posts.
"This is not because there is any individual entitlement. You [SACP members of the executive] are serving in various capacities because of the support you enjoy across the ANC movement, because of your struggle credentials, and because of your performance in government."
Maleka said they had a responsibility to serve a massive constituency and the country at large now more than ever.
"If you are fired at the behest of the Gupta network because of the SACP's stand on these matters - so be it."