Former president Thabo Mbeki has warned Members of Parliament that they are accountable to the people and not just to their political parties when participating in a vote of no confidence ballot in Parliament.
Writing for The Star, Mbeki said MPs and the president were elected by citizens and were accountable to them.
He reportedly said that the Constitutional Court had clarified the role of MPs in its Nkandla judgment.
"In this context, consistent with its Constitutional mandate, among others, the Constitutional Court explained the place, role, and task of our MPs, and therefore the National Legislature, strictly as defined by our constitution.
"It stated, correctly, that our MPs serve in Parliament as representatives of the people," Mbeki told The Star.
Mbeki reportedly said MPs must act as the voice of the people and not the voice of their political parties.
"It may be that the current controversy hast, at last, imposed on our country the opportunity and obligation the better to define the constitutional and moral relationship between the people and their elected representatives," he said.
His remarks follow appeals by former president Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC veteran Ben Turok who called on ANC MPs to vote with their consciences.