The ANC's national chairperson Baleka Mbete has come out in support of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the ANC.

The announcement was made by Mbete after long deliberations by delegates at the elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

"It's no big deal, really. It's the continuation of finalising the process on leadership," she said.

"We publicly endorse comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, and we agree on how to maximise issues of unity in the organisation.

"It would be wrong to be limited on what we came to do here."

The contest to succeed Zuma is a two-horse race between Ramaphosa, the party and nation’s deputy president, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife, favoured candidate and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission.

Mbete’s campaign for the top position didn’t get backing from any of the country’s nine provinces.

NOTE: 

A report published briefly on Saturday night on TimesLIVE erroneously said ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa would be the new ANC president. The reporters covering comments made by ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete misinterpreted her personal endorsement of Ramaphosa as an official party position. The report was removed shortly after being published and we apologise for the error and any confusion it may have caused.