CAPE TOWN, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday it does not support the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down.
This came after a meeting of the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC), convened in Irene, south of Pretoria on Nov. 26-28 to strengthen the unity and cohesion of the ANC.
During the course of the meeting, three cabinet minister -- Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi -- reportedly added their voices to the growing call for Zuma to resign, amid a deepening division within the ANC.
"On the call for the President to consider stepping down as President of the Republic, the NEC took time to elaborate on what we have previously identified as a negative narrative directed towards the President," the ANC said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
The essence of engagement and discussion is persuasion in order to arrive at consensus, the party said.
As such, the NEC always seeks to persuade one another through argument and does not seek to conclude matters through voting, the ANC said.
"Following robust, honest, candid and at times difficult discussions, the NEC did not support the call for the President to step down," said the ANC.
The NEC resolved it was more urgent to direct the energies of the ANC in its entirety to working towards the unity of the movement.
The NEC also decided that even though the call for Zuma to step down was neither on the agenda nor in the Political Report, the debate should be allowed without any suppression.