South Africa's President Jacob Zuma celebrates his re-election as Party President at the National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Bloemfontein December 18, 2012. South Africa's ruling ANC re-elected Zuma as its leader on Tuesday, setting him up for seven more years as head of state of Africa's biggest economy. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Bloemfontein - Newly re-elected president of the ANC Jacob Zuma on Tuesday appealed to delegates to strive for unity in the ruling party.

“Once ANC elections take place, we are all (bound) by the outcomes. Let us not say things that would make other comrades uncomfortable. Let's handle one another as fellow comrades.”

Zuma delivered an unprepared impromptu speech just before the lunch-break.

He said the party was proud of its culture of contestation.

“If the country has to learn something from the ANC, it is the democratic nature of the party.”

Zuma ended his speech by breaking into a struggle song, which led to the eruption of loud singing in the plenary tent.

“Somlandela...somlandel 'uLuthuli... (We will... We will follow Luthuli)”.

Those who had already left the tent for lunch rushed back in and joined Zuma in the singing. - Sapa