Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is "deeply disturbed" by the axing of President Thabo Mbeki, and has called for changes in the Constitution to curb the power of political parties.
"I am deeply disturbed that the nation, the state, South Africa, has been subordinated to a political party," the Nobel Peace Laureate told a hastily-arranged media briefing in Cape Town on Monday.
"One is deeply saddened that what we are going through is totally unnecessary. It shouldn't in fact have happened."
He said Mbeki's axing fitted the pattern of the settling of scores and flexing of muscles that had followed the African National Congress' national conference at Polokwane in December last year.
He also said perhaps South Africans would now call for changes to the Constitution.
"Let our president be elected directly by all South Africans and abolish party lists," he said.