SA President Cyril Ramaphosa (centre) at the ANC Gauteng elective conference on Friday. Picture: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - Leaders in the African National Congress (ANC) should do away with gate-keeping and allow members to choose their preferred leaders, President Cyril Ramaphosa told delegates at the party's Gauteng elective conference on Friday.

''Allow delegates to choose their leaders for the ANC. As I go around the country, comrades tell me they wish that leaders would allow them to choose and not interfere in their choices,'' Ramaphosa said to a loud applause in the plenary hall.

''Some in the ANC Youth League urge me and say please, allow young people to choose their own leadership.''

He urged delegates to unite at the conference.

''It is important that we embrace unity. Anything that is not unity weakens the ANC ... the public is warming up to our message of unity and renewal, they walk away from us the moment they see disunity among us.''

Ramaphosa said following the contest for ANC presidency at Nasrec in December, he was working side by side with his former opponent Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma ''as brother and sister united in our work''.

''We seat next to each other in Cabinet meetings as brother and sister ... holding hands firmly under the table,'' he said, sending delegates into laughter.

African News Agency (ANA)