Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has revealed a measure of his disillusionment with the African National Congress in an interview with the BBC.
Motlanthe told BBC Hardtalk that it will be good for the ANC to lose the 2019 election. He said that the party had become "associated" with corruption and a loss will help the "penny to drop".
Since winning the first democratic election in 1994, the party enjoyed the support of a large portion of the country, winning more than 60 per cent of the vote.
Ever-increasing corruption scandals has seen the party lose popularity, with its biggest losses coming in the 2014 local government elections where it lost control of some of the country's biggest cities, including Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Motlanthe, who served as president of South Africa between 2008 and 2009 (after the ANC's infamous recall of then-president Thabo Mbeki), warned that the party will be voted out as long as it remains "associated with corruption and failure".
"It would be good for the ANC itself and let me tell you why – because those elements who are in it for the largesse will quit it, will desert it and only then would the possibility arise for salvaging whatever is left of it," Motlanthe told Hardtalk.
He said that the party needs "lots of courage" to begin the process of renewal and failing that, it may have to "hit rock bottom".
President Jacob Zuma, who has already survived eight votes of no confidence in Parliament during his two-term tenure, is set to step down as party president at its elective conference in December, and as SA president in 2019.
The main challengers to replace him are current deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and his former wife and Africa Union chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.