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Mbete: Ramaphosa ticks all the right boxes on what ANC needs

Baleka Mbete publicly endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa late on Saturday night on the sidelines of the conference, saying that he is the only candidate who can help the party win elections in 2019.

FILE: Cyril Ramaphosa sings the national anthem at the ANC's 54th national conference on 16 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) national chairperson Baleka Mbete has publicly endorsed deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to become the next president of the party.

She made the announcement late on Saturday night on the sidelines of the conference, saying that Ramaphosa is the only candidate who can help the party win elections in 2019.

Mbete says it would be wrong to have a limited approach to the conference and says Ramaphosa ticks all the right boxes on what the party needs to move forward.

“The major part of what we’ve come to do is to look at how we mobilise South Africans, how we organise or reorganise ourselves such that we can deliver better.”

She says Ramaphosa could help reorganize the much-divided party.

Mbete also says that she is more than willing to stand for any top position if nominated, saying that she has a long history with Ramaphosa.

Despite previously being vocal on a need for a woman president during her presidential campaign, Mbete says that she now sees Ramaphosa as someone who will help champion issues faced by the ANC.

WATCH: #ANC54: Why Baleka Mbete is endorsing Cyril Ramaphosa

The ANC has admitted that the credentials acceptance process for conference is the reason why it’s adjourned proceedings from last night to Sunday morning.

The party failed to stick to its original program with the conference starting over seven hours late due to issues around the registration of delegates.

The issue of credentials was bound to be a challenge for this conference because some ANC members complained about irregularities during the registration process even before the conference started.

Mbete has confirmed that credentials are not ready.

“I think they’re still cleaning up the credentials and the reason we thought we should adjourn is to give a lot more time.”

She says the ANC needs more time to address disputes that have been raised about the credentials.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)