Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema claimed President Jacob Zuma was talking rubbish when he said he was one of those within the National Executive Committee who fought against former president Thabo Mbeki being recalled.
In a live television interview with SABC journalist Mzwandile Mbeje on Wednesday, Zuma said that he tried to fight for Mbeki, arguing that his recall would create a "bad precedent".
"I'm one of those who were in fact saying we should not recall comrade president Mbeki because we would be creating a bad precedent... I said let us talk to him and workout an arrangement [on] how is he going to perform his duties that would not make people feel uncomfortable," Zuma said.
"Of course I was defeated by the majority and I understood that."
Malema who was a loyal supporter of Zuma during Mbeki's recall refuted Zuma's claims.
"He [is] talking rubbish, CR [Cyril Ramaphosa] is the one who opposed it. Zuma told me that we should remove Mbeki because he can’t work with him," Malema posted on Twitter.
"He never opposed it, he actively supported it and mobilised all of us to support the removal of Mbeki. CR opposed it and [Gwede Mantashe] argued that instead of removing Mbeki, let’s call early elections."
Malema was the African National Congress's (ANC's) Youth League president in 2008 when Mbeki was recalled.
Zuma's interview on Wednesday comes as the ANC highest decision making body between conferences took a decision to recall him, and the party's caucus said it would support a motion of no confidence against him on Thursday.