'I will always be ready for the next order, I am a soldier' - outgoing ANC president Zuma

2017-12-16 09:51
Outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

Outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma. (AFP)

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'The ANC is as united as ever' - Zuma hosts final gala dinner as ANC president

2017-12-16 07:59

President Jacob Zuma hosted his final gala dinner as ANC leader with the event attended by the who's who of the business world. WATCH

Johannesburg – Outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma has told his detractors that he understands everything that has happened during his tenure as leader, and holds nothing against them.

"I bear no grudges and I... never [will] because I understand," Zuma said before concluding his speech at the party's gala dinner on Friday night. 

WATCH: The ANC is as united as ever - Zuma

He spoke about his two terms as the ANC leader, saying that it was a great experience and that he was "grateful for the opportunity to serve". 

He claimed that he never wanted to be president and instead he tried to run away from the responsibility by moving to KwaZulu-Natal as a deployee to resolve conflicts in the province. 

"I tried to dodge the position and when I was cornered, I thought I would do one term. I couldn't just say 'I can't do it'. I had to." 

Zuma said he always believed the job was a serious task.

'Ready to be lead'

He promised to write his biography in a year, and promised to always be ready for deployment should the incoming leadership call on him. 

"I will always be ready for the next order. I am a soldier... I am fit. I am ready to be lead. Whoever is going to be president I want them to know I am ready to be sent around." 

He admitted to making mistakes during his tenure, however he followed that by saying that with the ANC as a "moving organisation", mistakes would be made. 

A new ANC president will be elected during the party's elective conference which starts on Saturday. 

The two leading contenders, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, were seen embracing and sharing a light-hearted moment during the gala dinner. 

Dlamini-Zuma, who was endorsed by Zuma, suffered a major blow on Friday when the courts ruled against a region in the North West, as well as against the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal PECs, with some provincial delegates not being allowed to attend the conference. 

KwaZulu-Natal, which has the biggest delegation at the conference with 870, is the Dlamini-Zuma's stronghold.

Visit our special report, #ANCVotes, for all the news, analysis and opinions about the ANC’s national elective conference.

Read more on:    anc  |  zuma  |  jacob  |  anc leadership race  |  politics  |  anc votes

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