100822. Cape Town. President Jacob Zuma speaking at a school in Mitchells Plain. Picture henk Kruger/Cape Argus/Cape Times

Middelburg - African National Congress delegates in Mpumalanga backed Jacob Zuma for a second term as party president at their nomination conference in Middelburg on Thursday.

National executive committee member Cyril Ramaphosa was chosen as Zuma's deputy, Baleka Mbete as chairperson, Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general, Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary-general and Zweli Mkhize as treasurer.

Vote-counting ended just after 11pm.

A total of 469 delegates took part, choosing their candidates to stand for leadership posts at the ANC’s national elective conference in Mangaung next month.

Delegates from across the province, a stronghold of President Jacob Zuma, converged on the Steve Tshwete municipality's banquet hall in Middelburg for the conference.

Party delegates from Enhlanzeni, the biggest region by the number of delegates, and the Gert Sibande region, indicated their support for Ramaphosa to be Zuma's right-hand man.

“It is time for Ramaphosa to get into party leadership. We are convinced that he is ready now,” said Skhumbuso Masango, a Gert Sibande delegate.

Shortly after 11pm the conference was still under way, with delegates preparing to nominate 80 additional party leaders. - Sapa