Zikalala was said to be anti Zuma and pro incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa.
However in his resignation speech, the former premier dismissed these claims.
“At no point have I ever tried to get a position through being associated with him (Zuma). Equally I have never badmouthed others because they did not support him, this deceptive narrative further accuses myself in particular by suggesting that I have aligned myself with President Ramaphosa.
“It is the tradition of the ANC that dictates that members must always accept and work with the elected leadership whether they have supported the elections of that leadership or not.
“The ANC’s principles of organisational democracy and discipline further underline that leaders must lead all members with the same and equal treatment. This is key to ensure unity and cohesion of the ANC,” Zikalala explained.
He said his unity approach was evident in that the ANC is much more united as he leaves the position of chair than it was between 2015 to 2017.
“The journey we traversed from 2018 to the ANC ninth provincial conference was not easy but it managed to reintegrate all members of the organisation into one ANC. I have no doubt that there is a solid foundation upon which the elected leadership will continue to build and cement unity of the ANC and that of society,” Zikalala added.
He said he was happy to be leaving government with no cloud over his head and hoped his successors would preserve a clean government that focused on the emancipation of the people.
The outgoing premier also suggested his resignation was to protect the ANC from any internal battles that may arise because of his presence.
“It is my sincere conviction that revolutionaries should at no stage be an overburden to the movement. Revolutionaries should always enhance the functionality of the organisation and the execution of the revolutionary programme of action.”