President Jacob Zuma is ready to hand the baton to the next incoming ANC president.
Zuma said he was ready to leave his post as the head of the party happily, he remarked during an Oliver Tambo lecture at Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, on Sunday.
Speaking to ANC supporters, Zuma said he will have time to talk frankly to branches.
“I will have time to talk to branches in whatever way I want. I am very happy that I am leaving my position in December,” he said.
Zuma arrived three hours late to the ANC event. He was welcomed by ANC supporters who sang his praises as he arrived. ANC members had on t-shirts before his arrival with the face of presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The turnout at the event, however, was underwhelming as many had to be bused in from other areas along the West Rand.
Zuma said he was not pleased with some ANC leaders who had spoken at several events that were held in honour of Tambo across the country.
“Some used this opportunity to attack the organisation and other leaders. They acted like they knew Tambo, some even said there is no longer a good leadership in the party.”
Reacting to his detractors, Zuma said that after the December elective conference he will have a chance to deal with those who spoke ill of him.
“As a president, I have to uphold the values of the ANC. I have to maintain a certain standard, but after December, when someone insults me, I will have an opportunity to talk back. At conferences, I will be an ordinary delegate like everyone else.”
Zuma explained that he was not campaigning this year because he was ready to leave.
“I am not leaving the ANC. I am leaving as president,” he explained.