President Jacob Zuma. File photo: MARCO LONGARI

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma signalled that the ANC was already in fight-back mode for the 2016 municipal elections after the party’s poor performance in Gauteng and the success of newbies, the Economic Freedom Fighters in the national and provincial elections.

Zuma was speaking in Pretoria at the Independent Electoral Commission’s official unveiling of elections.

The ANC saw its majority in the Parliament reduced from the 65.9 percent it garnered in 2009 to 62.2 percent.

But more devastating for the party will be its poor performance in South Africa’s economic capital, Gauteng, where the party’s majority was reduced from 64 percent in 2009 to just 53 percent.

The ANC in Gauteng has been dogged by factional in-fighting between the party leadership under chairman Paul Mashatile, and the provincial government led by Zuma-ally, Nomvula Mokonyane.

On Saturday evening Zuma had stern words for the “losers” in this election – surely a reference to the EFF which had made several objections to this elections’ results.

To those who didn't win in the elections, Zuma said, “losing is part of democracy”.

“Also the people are never wrong. We should all respect the outcomes,” he said, severely.

Earlier on Saturday, Gauteng EFF premier candidate, Dali Mpofu, told Independent Newspapers that he still believed the election had been “rigged” – but the party officially said it that would accept the outcomes announced by the IEC.

Disputes around the election – one of the most highly contested in recent years – resulted in violence in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra on Friday night, resulting in the deployment of the army and a heavy police presence.

About 59 people were reportedly arrested.

Zuma said the ANC’s victory was a “green light” for the implementation of the National Development Plan.

“The ANC is humbled. The ANC will form a government which will serve all the people irrespective of who they voted for,” he said.

Political Bureau