I am willing to serve the ANC wherever necessary, says Zuma
Zuma used his address to thank his deputy‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ and the other leaders he served alongside
Outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma has said that regardless of who succeeds him as ANC president at the party’s national conference this weekend, he is ready to be led.
Delivering the keynote address at the ANC fundraising gala dinner on the eve of the conference in Nasrec‚ south of Johannesburg‚ Zuma said he was willing to serve the party wherever necessary.
"I am grateful of getting the opportunity to serve for past 10 years. It has been a humbling experience‚" Zuma told guests.
He charmed guests as he spoke off the cuff and joked in his last public address as president of the ruling party.
"When I say to people I never thought I will ever be president, it’s true. I did not try to be president‚" Zuma said.
He said that after the ANC’s unbanning he dodged being president by going to KwaZulu-Natal to deal with violence there.
Zuma said he was being honest when he said he wanted to serve only one term as president.
"I was not ambitious. I was just carrying out a task‚" he said‚ referring to the last decade as ANC president as "an experience-and-a-half".
Zuma used his address to thank his deputy‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ and the other leaders he served alongside.
Earlier‚ Zuma joked that Ramaphosa was outgoing deputy president but he heard that he would be the incoming president.
He spoke about the seven presidential candidates contesting the presidency — saying this demonstrated the level of democracy in the party.
"I’ve worked with all seven candidates at different levels and positions. I am sure they are not going to disappoint you‚" he said.
Zuma said the contest of seven hopefuls showed that the party had "enough talent".
He said that while seven people were running for president‚ they all knew there could be only one president and whoever was elected‚ the rest would unite behind the new leader.
"I can tell you when we rise from here the ANC will be as united as anything‚" Zuma said.