African National Congress (ANC) supporters booed President Jacob Zuma on Saturday during a political party event in the southeastern city of East London.
Zuma, who arrive after the event started, attended the gathering in support of Cyril Ramaphosa, the new leader of the ANC, South Africa’s ruling party.
Ramaphosa told the audience the ANC must unite and the political groups must address the “dysfunction” in its ranks.
The BBC reported Ramaphosa, who was elected to replace Zuma as party leader, said the ANC had become “deeply divided through factionalism, patronage and corruption.”
His speech focused on the country’s corruption and economy.
He urged “the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, prosperous and equitable society”.
Zuma did not address ANC supporters, yet he was booed when cameras showed him.
The president has seen a decline in public support during his second term, amid a weakening economy and allegations of corruption.
While the president was being booed, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, also at the meeting, was received with welcoming cheers.
Last month, the ruling ANC elected Ramaphosa as party leader to replace Zuma, who stepped down amid corruption allegations, but will remain South Africa’s president until nationwide elections are held in 2019.
Zuma had announced on Tuesday a corruption probe into the highest levels of the state, after parliament indicated it would move to impeach him.
On December 13, a South African court ruled that a commission be set up within 30 days to carry out such an inquiry.
“The allegations that the state has been wrestled out of the hands of its real owner, the people of South Africa, is of paramount importance and are therefore deserving of finality and certainty,” Zuma said in a statement, the French news agency reported, adding, “I have decided to appoint a commission of inquiry.”