But head of the ANC presidency Zizi Kodwa said any talk of an apology was jumping the gun as the party had not taken any legal advice about what Ramaphosa should tell deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
"The ANC will speak for itself towards the end of the commission … there are questions we can't run away from. What did we know? What did we not know? What did we do? And what was not done?"
Kodwa reiterated that his party was not on trial at the commission. He said even though some party leaders were implicated, that did not mean that they had the party's permission to commit the crimes.
"The ANC will not take any collective responsibility on behalf of individuals."
Kodwa revealed that Mantashe would return to the commission early in 2019 to explain the party's deployment policy in response to evidence delivered by former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan.
Should there be more evidence that implicates the party, another leader will go. Ramaphosa will only go towards the end of the hearings.
"He [Ramaphosa] can't make that submission when the commission has not done its work," said Kodwa.
Those involved in carving out the party's election strategy said recent meetings discussed how an apology could help the party recover lost support before the elections.
ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula said the party realised that state capture caused mistrust between the masses and the ANC. He said, however, that the establishment of the commission had created some optimism that Ramaphosa would deal broadly with corruption and state capture.
"Now we got a commission that is dealing with issues arising from state capture. People appreciate the fact that something is happening," he said.
He said public sentiment towards the party has improved since the start of the commission.
"We are not where it was a year ago, where there was denial of state capture," Mbalula said.