Jacob Zuma campaigned door to door in ward 7, at Nkandla local municipality, but the ANC still lost to the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in a by-election.

The ANC’s Bahle Sibiya lost to the IFP’s Nkosinathi Khumalo, according to results released by the Electoral Commission of SA on Thursday.

Khumalo got 1‚441 votes‚ Sibiya managed 1‚221 votes, while the EFF got four votes.

The death of IFP councillor Mphumzeni Mthombeni in 2018 necessitated the by-election.

Zuma had charmed hundreds of ANC supporters when he visited the voting district in the Emangidini area‚ where he was welcomed with song and dance. He later urged residents to come out in strength to vote for Sibiya on Wednesday.

He said the area would develop only if residents dislodged the IFP.

However, his efforts did not yield the desired results.

Also on Thursday, while speaking during a homecoming prayer organised by KwaZulu-Natal religious leaders in Nkandla, Zuma said the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture was being unfairly used to target certain people.

He said he had a problem with the term “state capture”, adding that the term was not being used correctly.

“If you say there is a state‚ which is the government‚ it means it has three pillars: Parliament‚ the judiciary and executive. If you tell the world that in SA there is ... state capture‚ it means that you say all these three pillars have been captured. This is used to denigrate other people‚” he said.

Zuma said that people were accused of state capture for merely speaking to a certain family — a veiled reference to the Guptas — who are accused of looting the state coffers.

“What I have heard is that they say there is a family that was speaking to a few people or ministers or anyone. You can’t say [that] because you have spoken to those people you are then in state capture‚” said Zuma.

The former president also addressed comments from a pro-Zuma group that it was considering a new political party with him at the helm — with the aim of taking on the ANC in the 2019 general election.

The group‚ Mazibuyele Emasisweni‚ said it was in consultation with other members nationally to ensure that the party became a reality.

But Zuma rubbished this‚ saying that those who thought he would leave the ANC and start a new political party “don’t know me very well”.

Zuma’s eldest son, Edward, also issued a statement on Thursday, dismissing reports of his father joining a new party.

“I wish to ... lay to rest false reports regarding the involvement of the former president ... being aligned to a certain so-called political party ...”