18/12/2017 16:22 SAST | Updated 18/12/2017 16:22 SAST

'I Have Made My Contribution' -- Zuma's Last Walk With Media

'I am happy to say now I am bowing out... because I think from my own point of view, that I have made my contribution to South Africa.' 

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

Outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma held a final media walkabout on the day of the announcement of the party's new leadership at Nasrec, on what will be his last day as the party's leader.

The media –– who have been barricaded and almost caged in an isolated area since the start of ANC national conference, preventing them from reporting on or communicating with voting delegates –– finally had a chance to speak to the outgoing leader about the legacy he leaves behind in the party.

Pontsho Mabena

The media were instructed by Zuma's private security to come into the Nasrec Expo Centre, where the heavily guarded president was viewing the exhibition of some of the businesses involved in the Progressive Business Forum.

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The exhibition, which had been closed to the media, finally opened their doors for the reporters, and they wasted no time in asking the president a few questions, to which he duly responded.

"Thank you very much, it is a wonderful thing to be with you guys holding this very serious responsibility of the ANC," the president told the media. "In the 150-year history of the ANC, only 12 people have held this position, and soon there will be 13. It tells us that it is a very difficult responsibility to hold."

Pontsho Mabena

"I am happy to say now I am bowing out... because I think from my own point of view, that I have made my contribution to South Africa. We are happy that you can come here and report in greater detail."

"The branches have the last say, and I don't think we have seen an organisation like that in this country that can go to that level. We believe we are practising democracy."

Pontsho Mabena

"Some of us who are going out; we will be part of the delegations. We are going to influence the progress and speed that the ANC will travel. The ANC does not live for itself, it lives for South Africa".

"Thank you," he said to the media. "At times you write very well, at times I have been critical of your writing –– at times I feel you are biased, [writing] on things that don't promote the country –– but your role is important. We all want prosperity, and we all want a good South Africa."

Pontsho Mabena