Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - A spokesman for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says the politician has accepted a nomination to run for the top position in the ruling party.

Thabo Masebe said on Thursday that Motlanthe had accepted nominations to run for president, deputy president and another position within the ANC. Motlanthe already serves as deputy president of the party.

In running for the ANC presidency, Motlanthe will challenge Jacob Zuma. Zuma already has strong support within the party to retain his position at next week's Mangaung convention.

Becoming leader of the ANC means a nearly automatic ticket to becoming the president. Opposition parties don't garner the widespread support given to the ANC, the party of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. - Sapa-AP