Backlash for ANC MPs who voted in favour of the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma in Parliament on Tuesday has already begun, with senior ANC officials vowing to find out which MPs voted with the opposition, The Times reported on Thursday.
Zuma survived the motion on Tuesday but only just.
According to Business Day on Thursday, as many as 35 - 40 ANC MPs could have voted with the opposition. The tally could be higher than initially thought, partly because the opposition did not vote as bloc.
Despite the secret ballot, ANC MPs were warned on Tuesday that voting with the opposition would put their jobs on the line.
Ricardo Mthembu, chairman of the ANC's KwaDukuza region, told the publication the act of voting with the opposition was "treason". He said the powerful region would put pressure on the ANC leadership to deal with the guilty MPs.
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He said a dangerous precedent had been set which could cascade to legislatures and councils.
"The DA is the enemy of the revolution and as such supporting its motion is treasonous... This was a wake-up call and structures of the movement need to deal with these tendencies," he said.
Minister of small business development Lindiwe Sisulu said on Wednesday that those who voted with the opposition should come forward and face disciplinary processes, according to Business Day.
She reportedly said the party knew there were unhappy members but they should have known the opposition's real plan was to destabilise the ANC and dislodge it from power.
The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans council was also quoted as saying action needed to be taken against those who voted in favour of the motion. The call was echoed by the ANCYL in Gauteng.
But ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe reportedly said there was no way of knowing who these members were.
The Sowetan reported on Thursday that Mantashe warned MPs, ahead of the vote, that because of the party's internal strife, it would not be able to vote for a successor to Zuma, should he be voted out, and so voting with the opposition would lead to early elections.