The Star present a birthday cake to President Jacob Zuma who turned 70yrs old today. Picture: Antoine de Ras,.12/04/2012

Being a good person and loving one's enemies will keep one living until the age of 70, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

“People ask me what do I do to remain young. It is a single thing. You need a good heart, you must not hate people,” he told reporters and the staff at the ANC's headquarters at Luthuli House in Joburg.

“You just need to be nice, even when something bad happens. You must wish your enemies good luck... then you will live until 70.”

Luthuli House echoed on Thursday afternoon to the strains of the song Happy Birthday, which was sung to Zuma by staff.

Several bottles of sparkling wine were opened and Zuma cut a large black, green and gold cake in the shape of the number 70.

Surrounding the president were several ANC national executive members, including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Zuma thanked the Luthuli House staff for attending the event.

“There is no headquarters more important than this in the whole country,” he said.

Zuma also thanked the media, chuckling and adding: “Our friends, the media. You make things happen. Life would be dull without you.”

He said the Bible mentioned the age of 70 as important one.

“What is important is that at 70 is that I feel energised. I... travelled a long distance, but I still want to make a difference.” – Sapa