President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

President Jacob Zuma took time off from the ANC policy conference on Thursday morning for a walk around the progressive business forum (PBF) stalls in Gallagher Estate.

Looking casual in a red, navy and white rugby-style jersey, a grey jacket and a black scarf, the ANC leader passed by all the stalls, joking with the vendors and inspecting what each had to offer.

He was accompanied by ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa, the PBF's co-convenor Renier Schoeman, and a large group of bodyguards. According to its website the PBF was formed in 2006 to create an “ongoing dialogue” between the ANC and the business community.

At one of the stalls, Zuma paged through a R2000 coffee table book and joked about the old pictures of some party veterans.

“She was a lot thinner, and he had a different hairstyle,” he said.

He was also given gifts at the stalls, including a gold-plated ANC-branded USB stick, and a leather bag.

He told the media to take a photo of him with the bag.

“Let us take a picture. Let it be known that I did not steal it.”

An ANC Youth League delegate from KwaZulu-Natal was shoved away by Zuma's bodyguards after he tried to get a closer look at the leader.

“This is my president. You can't deny me the right to see him. Are you South African?” he asked the guard.

The guard said offhandedly that he was Zimbabwean. - Sapa