President Jacob Zuma at the national ANC Elective Conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL
President Jacob Zuma at the national ANC Elective Conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL

President Jacob Zuma has again sought to emphasise that he is happy to exit as leader of the ANC.

Zuma spoke on Monday during his final walkabout at the Nasrec Convention Centre, the venue of the ANC’s electoral conference. He was surrounded by hundreds of journalists scrumming for a last view and a last sound bite ahead of the announcement of the ANC’s new leader.

"I’m happy to say now that I am bowing out," Zuma said, barely audible in the crowd, face shining under a flood of lights.

Zuma was stepping down exactly 10 years after he was first elected as president of the ANC in Polokwane.

His two terms as president of the party have been mired in scandal and controversy, as Zuma has presided over the decline of the party, the tripartite alliance, the government and the economy.

Zuma said he thought he made his contribution. He said some in the party’s top leadership were now leaving their top positions, but that they will now go to the grass roots.

According to Zuma, the fact that there were seven presidential hopefuls vying for the top position in the lead-up to the conference was proof of the vibrant democratic nature of the ANC.

He said the conference was running smoothly, and that ANC delegates were acting the same way as they always did.

"We all want a good South Africa that makes all South Africans feel good; [who makes] all South Africans feel part of the country, but also benefiting from the riches of the country," Zuma said.

Please sign in or register to comment.