Johannesburg - The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) and the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) on Thursday paid tribute to former president Jacob Zuma.
Welcoming Zuma's resignation, the ANCWL urged government to not discard Zuma's work and legacy. "Whilst acknowledging that more still needs to be done, the ANCWL leadership collective appreciates the work done by ANC-led government under President Zuma. We call on the ANC-led government to build on those legacies in the best interest of the poor and working class."
"It is only the ANC that remains the hope of the masses of the country," the organisation said on Thursday. "The ANCWL is unapologetic in demanding from the ANC national executive committee to fully implement radical changes in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female."
The MKMVA, meanwhile, praised Zuma for his work in government and as a peacemaker in KwaZulu-Natal during the turbulent violent years that gripped the province in the early 1990s.
The organisation said it welcomed Zuma's statement that he would continue to serve in the governing party. "MKMVA wants to warn against any form of triumphalism within the ANC, or in general in our country, concerning the resignation of comrade Zuma."
"As loyal members of the ANC, we will vigorously defend comrade Zuma against vindictive attacks and humiliation, similarly as we would do for any member of the ANC. We want to reiterate that comrade Zuma is one of our very own, and we honour and respect him as one of our finest commanders."
The two organisations are staunch supporters of the outgoing president and stood by him through Zuma's scandal-ridden nine years in office.
Zuma announced his resignation as the Wednesday deadline given by the ANC national executive committee to step down drew nearer. He faced a motion of no confidence by his own comrades in Parliament had he not resigned. ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa will be sworn in as president on Thursday and deliver the state of the nation address on Friday. It was not yet clear who will become Ramaphosa's deputy.
African News Agency/ANA