The African National Congress should initiate disciplinary action over allegations that President Jacob Zuma and members of a family in business with his son have looted state coffers, said Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

“The ANC should act decisively on anybody in authority who is suspected or alleged to be doing wrong,” Sisulu said in an interview Sunday in Polokwane. “The fact that the president is involved” shouldn’t make a difference, she said.

Zuma’s leadership and implication in a succession of scandals has eroded support for the 105-year-old ANC.

ANC lost control of Pretoria, the capital, and Johannesburg, the economic hub, in municipal elections in August last year.

The president has clung to office because of the support of most of the party’s top leaders, who rely on him for their posts in the cabinet and government.

Sisulu, 63, criticised the ANC, saying it had exercised selective judgment by targeting some of its members who failed to toe the party line during the August 8 motion of no confidence, while failing to take action against the president.

Sisulu is among several candidates bidding to replace Zuma when he steps down as party leader in December.

Whoever wins will have a tough task stabilising the ANC, restoring its integrity and rebuilding business confidence that was badly damaged by Zuma’s March decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, according to Sisulu.

The implication of the president in controversy has weighed on investor confidence and helped send the economy into recession.

“Whoever we put out there as a candidate for the ANC must be the kind of person who will make us win the elections,” Sisulu said. “If the party wins in 2019, it will probably be with a very reduced margin. If we don’t, we would have lost everything we ever worked for,” she said.

Support for the ANC fell to about 54% in the municipal vote in August from 62% in national elections two year earlier.

Several local politicians voiced support for Sisulu’s candidacy on Sunday at a meeting of ANC supporters at a 5,000-seat stadium in Mopani outside Polokwane.

“We support her because she is a brilliant woman and she is not corrupt,” said Sam Mawila, a college teacher who attended the gathering. “She is not like Zuma, who is now trying to pass the baton to his ex so she can protect him from facing the music for all his scandals.”