29/09/2008 14:34 - (SA)
Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa has announced his resignation.
"I am resigning due to my convictions that while the ANC has the right to recall any of its deployed cadres, the decision needs to be based on solid facts, be fair and just.
"I also did not feel that I will be able to, with conviction, publicly explain or defend the NEC's decision on comrade Thabo Mbeki," Shilowa told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday.
He denied that he had been "pushed" to resign but said he was doing it out of principle.
"It is a known fact that I hold strong views on the manner of his dismissal and to pretend otherwise would be disingenuous," Shilowa said, referring to the ANC National Executive Committee's decision to remove Mbeki from office.
"I acknowledge and respect the ANC's rights to recall any of its deployed cadres. I am, however, of the view that there was no cogent reason for doing so."
Shilowa denied rumours that he was starting or would be part of a new political party.
"I know of no group who is starting another new party. I cannot be party to something I do not know," Shilowa said.