Outgoing ANC President Jacob Zuma during the ANC Gala Dinner before the start of the ANC Elective Conference taking place at Nasrec.
Image: Masi Losi

Jacob Zuma made his last appearance as ANC leader at a national elective conference on Saturday.

But the day was not about him. It was about the candidates who competed for his position and who will lead the ANC later during this conference‚ which is set to take place until Wednesday.

Delegates sang in support of their preferred candidates ahead of Zuma's last opening address in the expansive Nasrec Hall‚ decked out in yellow.

While songs punted Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa‚ not a t-shirt in sight bore their images.

Delegates from KwaZulu-Natal‚ North West‚ the Free State‚ some from Mpumalanga and from the Women's League sang Dlamini-Zuma's praises as she sat stone-faced on the stage.

She eventually gave a small smile‚ and took out her phone to seemingly take pictures or videos of her adoring supporters.

She made her rounds on stage‚ greeting Lindiwe Sisulu and Jeff Radebe‚ who both had placed their names in the hat to become ANC president before branches had their way with nominations.

She looked proud as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela greeted her with a hug and a kiss.

Ramaphosa walked onto the stage with the rest of the top six officials.

A group of delegates brought it back to the controversial Gupta family‚ singing‚ roughly translated‚ "Don't cry. Zuma will leave and move to Dubai."