The African National Congress (ANC) needs to stop protecting President Jacob Zuma, says Mathews Phosa.
He told HuffPost SA in an interview the governing party has lost its authority and that it urgently needs to "rediscover" itself.
The former treasurer-general of the ANC and Mpumalanga premier has been nominated for ANC president by a branch in Cape Town and he says he will accept the nomination at the right time. "When the time for official nomination comes, I will accept and I take it seriously. I really believe that I could make a small contribution towards the change of direction for the country and for our movement," Phosa said.
He believes South Africa needs political and economic leadership to "stabilize and create social cohesion" among its citizens. "We should not allow people to be divided along racial lines. We have a beautiful constitution which we must defend, protect and allow it to be a good social contract for us."
Phosa says the ANC isn't only losing the trust of South Africans, but of Africa in general.
"If you talk to many African leaders, they will tell you when (Nelson) Mandela was president, he was the voice, not only of South Africa, but of Africa. Thabo Mbeki was in the same category. But with our current president, it doesn't matter whether he reads the best speech, they say 'we don't trust him'. And that is not just from in South Africa, but throughout the continent," Phosa said.
He believes the ANC needs to build on its former values.
"The ANC must rediscover itself. It must educate the members politically, so that they appreciate those values. The values are not about competing for tenders, but about being responsible leaders at a municipal, provincial and national level. We have a serious responsibility to build that new culture," Phosa said.
"I want to see ethical leaders who won't just speak the values but who will walk the values of the ANC. Most of the guys now, they don't walk the talk. You can't tell us you want good governance and still protect the president."