(File image) President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Jacques Naude

Johannesburg - Voting at the African National Congress nomination conference in the Free State began at around 1am on Friday - about nine hours later than scheduled.

After deliberating on branch nominations, delegates agreed on the names which would appear on the ballot paper.

President Jacob Zuma's name was not put on the ballot because he had been nominated unopposed from the branches and there were no other nominations presented for the top post.

Names that would be on the paper included that of deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, incumbent ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, premier of the Free State Ace Magashule and KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize.

Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Thandi Modise, Thenjiwe Mtintso, Mathews Phosa and Tito Mboweni were also on the list of nominations.

Despite the delay, delegates waited patiently at the Sasolburg venue as ballots had to be printed from town.

Earlier, premier Magashule said delegates heading to Mangaung in December for the party's elective conference should elect the appropriate leaders for the party.

“Choose the best of the best... The tried and tested of the African National Congress,” he said. - Sapa