Picture: SAMKELO MTSHALI

Durban - The ANC's provincial interim committee's coordinator Sihle Zikalala at a press conference in Durban on Thursday said former president Jacob Zuma's decision to resign proved that he was a disciplined member of the ANC. 

Addressing the media in Durban in the wake of Zuma's exit, Zikalala said Zuma had been perceived by his detractors as a threat to their economic base and that they had unleashed an unprecedented propaganda narrative to spread "Zumaphobia". 

"All forms of political rhetoric was unleashed on Zuma but the real intention was not to only being Zuma down but to eliminate the ANC from governing the country," Zikalala said. 

He said it was not surprising that even before the dust settles the knives were being pointed at President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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He said they could see through "these naked efforts to reverse democracy through political stealth". 

He said that Zuma would continue serving the ANC and would not undermine the party.

"Our structures (in KZN) look forward to welcoming [former] president Zuma. We will be hosting Zuma to thank him for his 60 years of revolutionary service to the people of the country.

"We call upon all the people from all sectors of society to join us as we thank this son of the soil," Zikalala said.

KwaZulu-Natal has been one of Zuma’s strongest support bases and, by sheer force of voting numbers, is regarded as having ushered him to the position of ANC president and keeping him there for a decade. 

While the province threw its weight behind Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as their preferred candidate for party president in December, Ramaphosa emerged victorious. The province has voice support for him since then.

Additional reporting by ANA