President Jacob Zuma has told delegates at a cadres forum hosted by the ANC in the Free State that he knew the liberation movement was under attack.
Zuma, who attended the gathering late on Saturday afternoon, took questions from party members on the floor, many of which focused on the motion of no confidence which he survived in the national assembly this week.
He told ANC members that he had received telephone calls immediately after the motion had failed.
"I was phoned by people as soon as the results came out, apparently the world was looking at us," said Zuma.
The president said the ANC had to ask itself why the motion was being pushed for now and in the same breath he questioned motives behind the South African Communist Party's calls for him to step down as the head of state.
"The issue of the unity of the alliance, who ever thought that one day the alliance would say the kind of things they are saying? No one. Why? On the day our friends are not here I will tell you, he said referring to the media. He suggested that maybe the cadres forum would have been better had it been closed off from the media, adding that he did feel free to make specific utterances out of fear of dominating headlines.
"The amount of money that has been poured to destabilise South Africa you will never believe," said Zuma.
He said the money being used against the country has turned comrades he used to know against him. He also refused to elaborate further on this issue, saying he "will leave it there".
Zuma also spoke candidly about an attempt to kill him, where his second wife Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma "Ma Ntuli" remains a key suspect in the matter.
"I always say when I die, and I nearly died because they did poison me, they managed to find someone close to me and I know it," he said.
He told members in the room that he survived three doses of poison and that even scientists were left baffled by this.
"The person they used was so innocent," Zuma said, without mentioning her name.
He said even if people ridicule and criticised him, he knows he would die knowing what went wrong in the 105 year old liberation movement.
"Our revolution is under attack," he said.
"I know that we are under attack, no matter how bright and eloquent [some] people are, I know that and I often have a heart to heart with myself just like Jesus and say please forgive them lord for they know not what they do," said Zuma to rapturous applause from members in the hall.
The president said one of the problems was that Marxist terms were no longer in use in the country.
"Some politicians talk about the poor and working class in general but there must be those who talk about the class divisions," said Zuma.