President Jacob Zuma has advised the future leader of the ANC to focus on uniting the organisation. Zuma was speaking to the SABC ahead of the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference, which starts at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC MP, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, are the frontrunners to succeed Zuma as party president. Zuma says the organistions has many challenges.

“We are here and the leader must participate and lead us in uniting the ANC. I believe we need to get rid of the factions. They are a wrong instrument in the organisation.

“We need a leader that is going to embrace other leaders and engage to be united. That leader must lead all of us and nobody must feel that this is not my leader.”

President Zuma says he is ready to bow out as the leader of the ANC. He says, “One has had some responsibilities in the past but the time has come and I think I am happy and ready for it and I think the ANC is not running short of cadres to take on the baton.

“I am ready also to bow out and be there as an ordinary member. I am going to be more active and going to have more time to make comments and no longer carrying responsibilities that at times you may not say things that would have said otherwise if you are not a president. So I will be having more freedom to speak or have what people say ‘freedom of speech’ after this.”

The ANC president says it is ‘unfortunate’ that ANC disputes have to be taken to court

The governing party lost three court cases in less than 24 hours. The ANC Free State Provincial Conference was today declared unlawful and void. In KwaZulu Natal, the High Court in Pietermaritzburg upheld the nullification of the 2015 KZN ANC elective conference, and in the North West, the ANC Bojanala regional conference was declared invalid.

“It’s unfortunate that our constitutional democracy in a sense has opened that kind of people going to court. My view is that instead of political discussions and persuasions, which dominate democracy in our country, we have taken our democracy to the other extreme. It’s unfortunate because it is even giving people a wrong impression that democracy is a terrible system that we have got to be in court all the time.”

Watch the full interview: