Members of the African National Congress's (ANC's) top 6 who have spoken out against the cabinet reshuffle are "ill disciplined", Mpumalanga ANC chairperson, David Mabuza, said on Sunday.
He was referring to President Jacob Zuma's dramatic cabinet reshuffle which included the firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Zuma's decision has been met with outrage, with some members of the party's top 6 openly admitting that there was no agreement over the firing of some ministers.
The ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, said the president's list of new appointments seem to have come from "elsewhere".
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa called Zuma's decision "totally unacceptable", while ANC treasurer general, Zweli Mkhize, said the briefing by Zuma left an impression that "the party was no longer at the centre".
Mabuza, addressing journalists in Bushbuck Ridge on Sunday after welcoming former ANC members back in the party, said Mkhize and Ramaphosa, "must remember they are not the president. There is only one president.
"I don't know if they want to exercise the same powers that the president has. It is quite ill disciplined that people will go out and say they differ with the president. That is ill disciplined," said Mabuza.
He said, "To hire people, to hire ministers is the prerogative of the president. To hire MECs is my prerogative as premier".
Zuma, said Mabuza, could decide to outsource that prerogative and "give it to other people to assist him in making a decision on who to appoint".
"To me the deployment of people is not the most important thing in the ANC because we don't own these positions. I was not born to be a premier. You can remove me tomorrow and to be honest I won't have a problem," he said.
Mabuza said he didn't want to read a lot into what the president has done, "exercising his prerogative".
He said the president had the responsibility to run the country and that he could not fail the people of the country.
"You can't hang your dirty linen out there. What are you trying to do, whom are you trying to appease?" asked Mabuza.
"We are working very hard on the ground to unite the ANC but they are doing their best to divide it," he said.