Durban - ANC eThekwini councillor and regional executive member Stanley Moonsamy has been forced to apologise for alleging that “R2 billion (was) paid to ANC rats who voted with the opposition".
Moonsamy said this after President Jacob Zuma narrowly survived the vote of no confidence on Tuesday.
Of 384 MPs, 177 voted in favour of Zuma’s removal while 198 wanted him to keep his job. There were nine abstentions.
Among those who did not vote in support of Zuma were about 30 ANC MPs.
Amid calls for those voted with the opposition to be identified and disciplined, Moonsamy took to social media to claim money had changed hands.
"R2 billion paid to ANC rats MPS Who Voted With d opposition. Shame on these Cde you Betrayed the organisation (sic)," Moonsamy said.
"Just as you voted secretly you should secretly resign as a member of the ANC and Parliament. Now," he wrote.
Moonsamy went on to share the list of 26 MPs suspected of voting with the opposition.
Despite being warned, Moonsamy said some of those on the list had taught them when "rats" betrayed the ANC "we must put a tyre around the necks and burn them which we called a necklace".
The ANC did not take kindly to his statements and ordered him on Thursday to withdraw them within 48 hours and apologise unconditionally.
Spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli said the post cast serious aspersions on certain ANC MPs without providing credible evidence to support the claim.
"It is our view that our movement must close ranks while acting firmly against those furthering divisions," Ntuli said.
On Thursday night, Moonsamy took to Facebook.
"I withdraw my statements unconditionally … as a respected and disciplined member of the ANC," he wrote.
This was the second time the ANC had to force a member to withdraw comments and to apologise.
Edward Zuma was last week forced to apologise after he made disparaging remarks about former ministers Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan.
“It was never my intention to offend anyone by expressing my view on the current political landscape in the country hence I withdraw those words that might have caused this and wish to plead for forgiveness from the ANC," Zuma said.