Jacob Zuma’s resignation was a painful moment for South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC), the party’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said on Wednesday night.

”We are not celebrating the recall of our deployee and cadre who served the party for years. We hope those who see this as painful moment… because it is a painful moment, will not walk away but work with the ANC,” Duarte told reporters following Zuma stepping down after almost nine years in power.

When asked again what the party’s reasons were for recalling Zuma, Duarte said such information would be forwarded to Zuma personally.

”He has asked for reasons for the recall and what is it that he did wrong. We feel we have to give to him such reasons, these were discussed by the national executive committee (NEC) and we should forward him those reasons and not the media, it would be wrong to do so, adventurous and populist to say the least,” she said.

Defiant to the end, Zuma said he did not fear a vote of no confidence by his fellow comrades, which had been scheduled for Thursday.

During a media briefing announcing his resignation, he added that he was not elected in order to enjoy the perks and benefits that comes with serving as president of the country.

On Wednesday afternoon, the ANC had resolved to vote in favour of the motion of no confidence after giving him 48 hours to resign on Monday evening. He did so less than an hour before the deadline lapsed.