Cape Town - The EFF have walked out of the National Assembly, where proceedings to elect South Africa's new president were underway on Thursday.

"We just want to put it on record that we don't want to be part of an illegitimate process," EFF leader Julius Malema told the chamber.

The National Assembly is to elect a president following the resignation of former president Jacob Zuma late on Wednesday.

Speaker Baleka Mbete on Thursday refused a call from the opposition to hear a motion for the dissolution of Parliament, saying the only business of the day would be the election of a new president to succeed Zuma.

"It is not on the order paper for today," she said as Malema rose to object to the National Assembly proceeding with the nomination of Cyril Ramaphosa.

Malema threatened that if the vote went ahead, it would be challenged in court later.

"We cannot be part of an illegitimate process."

Fellow EFF MP Godrich Gardee added: "You cannot elect this man."

"I am not allowing members to abuse this sitting," the Speaker objected.

At this, the EFF MPs rose and left the chamber.

Ramaphosa was the only candidate put forward to the House to succeed Zuma.

The EFF and the DA have both said they will not vote for ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected as state president.

At a media briefing earlier on Thursday, Malema said: “The EFF will ... not participate in the election of a new president to replace Zuma because we do not want to legitimaise anyone from the ruling party”.

He said the EFF “at the first opportunity to lead a motion in Parliament, EFF will call on the dissolution of Parliament in favour of early elections. This is to allow our people to renew Parliament mandate through general elections and not some career driven elite pact”.

The EFF was supposed to debate its motion of no confidence in Zuma if he refused to resign on Wednesday.