The CEO of Universities South Africa Professor Ahmed Bawa says Zuma's announcement took the organisation by surprise.
Karima Brown spoke to Political analyst Vukani Mde and Economist Lumkile Mondi to get their take on Saturday's big announcement.
The conference got off to a late start on Saturday after some delegates were unable to get their accreditation.
On Saturday, the President delivered his political report with a few scathing words directed at his detractors.
Speaking at the 54th ANC National Conference President Jacob Zuma said 'petty squabbles' in the party needed to take a backseat.
Bongani Bingwa asks what you will take away from Jacob Zuma's tenure as president. The good, the bad and the ugly.
The conference is underway and set to discuss decisions taken at last month's special committee meeting where Mugabe was removed.
The South African tycoon resigned on Thursday as chairman of Steinhoff but it is unclear about his position as CEO.
On Thursday the broadcaster's Kaizer Kganyago confirmed only current affairs shows at its radio stations have been affected.