"I decided to resign before the end of my term terminated to the ANC," former President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.
He was speaking to more than a thousand residents of Bhobhoyi, in Port Shepstone, in the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal at a provincial ANC election campaign event.
"The ANC NEC (national executive committee) told me to resign as president and they could not provide me reasons when I asked them. I have decided to save the ANC and I resigned. I saw that it would lead us into a forest and we would fight among yourselves, "he said.
"The ANC is more important than my pain and feelings," he said to loud cheers.
He warned the party's supporters who wore ANC colors "vote for the ANC and not the president".
"The ANC has not done anything wrong to you. There are some people who are not happy about so and so," said Voices for the ANC, not the president. If you do not vote next year then you're not mature. Vote for the ANC to remain in government, "he insisted
Zuma warned members who thought they were "special because of power or because of their ideas" to "put the ANC first".
"We joined the ANC, the ANC did not join us." He said, "We have joined it."
The ANC has made "mistakes" in its tenure as the governing party, Zuma acknowledged.
"Mistakes happen when you're working," he said.
He warned against those who were "politicking" in their criticism of the ANC and encouraged the youth, who had just turned 18, to vote for the ANC "instead of voting for other parties.
"Do not vote for the other party that used to be led by that boy, I forget their names and party. Do not even vote for the other party led by that boy who is always in red who talks too much, "he said sarcastically.
A former president
He seems to be referring to former DA leader Helen Zille and current leader Mmusi Maimane, as well as EFF leader Julius Malema
"The other party too recently defeated the other colored woman in Cape Town. She left in the end as they continued to provoke her." Why vot for them? "The boy in red has done nothing for the people.
He was referring to former Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille who recently resigned from his position and also left the DA to form a new political party.
Zuma also took a jibe at the party's former presidents
"Being a former president doesnt mean anything. He does not mean you're a king," he said.
He suggested that he should respect the current leadership of the party, saying he was under the leadership of provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli during the campaign event in Port Shepstone.
"Being a former means nothing.He is the one who sent me.You have certain reasons for that position.It means that once you have a position, you are now a king It does not mean anything. That's why they use 'former', they are now tell you 'useless one' you're a former, "he said before his signature laugh.