Former ANC treasurer general and presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa has called the scandal around President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family "the worst crime" since apartheid, Business Day reported.
Phosa was reportedly addressing the Junior Indaba for mining companies, which the Department of Mineral Resources reportedly did not attend despite being invited.
Phosa called on ANC MPs to vote in favour of the upcoming motion of no confidence vote against Zuma in Parliament and said the entire Cabinet should be held responsible for what has happened.
According to Business Day, Phosa said:
"Let me openly say that, after apartheid, I regard the Zuma-Gupta scandal as the worst crime ever against the people of South Africa. What we have seen under this presidency is radical economic looting.
"The executive under President Zuma has long ceased to understand their sworn duty to uplift the poorest of the poor. I do not exclude a single member, minister or deputy minister."
Phosa said all members of the executive need to take collective responsibility.
"He (Zuma) and all the public representatives and executive appointees must take joint and collective responsibility for not only the massive damage to our economy but also for raping the interests of the poor.
"Let me be clear: all members of Cabinet must take joint responsibility for the sad state of our nation."
According to Business Day, Phosa said there were cowards in the upper ranks of the party, among Zuma's backers.
"They are standing in the same mud as him. What they find wrong with him is what they find wrong with themselves. They stand together like pigs stand together in the mud.
"Those who steal money, and there are many, they should go to jail. That is where they belong."Suggest a correction