Zuma received about 75 percent of the approximately 3,000 votes cast by delegates at the party conference in Manguang and called for all party members to let bygones be bygones.
"Once elections have taken place, we are all (bound) by the outcomes," Zuma said. "We don't want comrades to feel after this that they are outside the ANC. I don't think we must continue to say things which make other comrades uncomfortable."
The South African newspaper Mail and Guardian said Zuma's call for togetherness did not mean his opponents would pay a price. "What will happen is what always happens," a lobbyist who backed Zuma told the newspaper. "There will be purges."