African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe and party deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte Jesse Duarte. Picture: Jennifer Bruce.

Cape Town - The ANC is united behind President Jacob Zuma and will not field another candidate for the presidency in the upcoming national election, party deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte said on Saturday.

“There are people who say we don't want our president,” she told a crowd of thousands at the launch of the ANC's Western Cape manifesto in Delft on the Cape Flats.

“The policy is that the president of the ANC is always the candidate for the election. We don't have another candidate and there will be no other candidate. Let us be clear,” Duarte added.

Zuma had been scheduled to address the rally but was replaced as keynote speaker by Duarte, who said the president had other commitments. She promised that he would visit the province another time.

The African National Congress has been battling rumours of discontent with Zuma's leadership for the past month after he was loudly heckled by sections of the crowd at the memorial for former president Nelson Mandela in Soweto on December 10. - Sapa