He expressed these sentiments at a farewell event for Presidency staff at the Union Buildings on Friday, reports the Sunday Times.
In his address, Zuma said he had accepted the presidency only because his party had requested it.
“Once people say ‘do this’, I wouldn’t defy them. So I said ‘Well, let me do it to the best of my ability’, and I’m sure as a human being, [it’s] only God and Jesus who don’t commit mistakes.
“As a human being, I am there to do things but also to make mistakes, and what is important is that you must learn from your mistakes so that you don’t commit more, you lessen the volume of your mistakes.”
Zuma added that he hoped “the volume of my mistakes was not so overwhelming . . . it was limited”.
Zuma stepped down on 14 February, bringing an end to his scandal-marred tenure and leaving the nation’s leadership in the hands of the ruling ANC’s new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Calls for him to quit had grown since Ramaphosa replaced him as ANC leader in December, and his fate was sealed when the party’s National Executive Committee decided to order him to step down.
A report by the City Press meanwhile, stated that the former president will have criminal charges against him reinstated.
The report stated that prosecutors looking into representations by Zuma to avoid the courts recommended the charges are acted on.
“Five senior prosecutors unanimously recommended on Friday that Zuma face all charges that were previously withdrawn against him,” stated the report.
Zuma is now set to face charges of corruption, money laundering, and racketeering.