Zuma was a keynote speaker and part of panellists which included Dr Abba Omar, Lindiwe Maseko, Steven Friedman and Dr Thozama April.
Before his address — as organisers of the meeting resolved last minute logistics — some who logged in could not help but greet and send kind words to Zuma.
“Nxamalala, it is so good to be able to to hear from you, the real president,” said an Mpumalanga delegate.
A cheerful Zuma responded with his iconic laugh.
Introducing the guest speakers, meeting convener Jeff Radebe said Zuma was a man who needed no introduction. As he briefly mentioned his contribution to the ANC, including that he spent 10 years on Robben Island as well as 40 years serving in executive positions of the party.
Giving his address, Zuma said he had prepared a lengthy paper which could not be dealt with during the stipulated time, but that he would make it available to the public.
He took a swipe at parliament, saying it was destructive and not contributing to nation building.
“Parliament as a very open, public institution is not helping. Is it very destructive. People swear at each other there. That is not contributing to nation building,” he said.