The Mail & Guardian learned from two lobbyists campaigning for Jacob Zuma to retain the presidency that Ramaphosa agreed to challenge national executive committee members Mathews Phosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Kgalema Motlanthe—the current deputy president—who has also accepted nomination for the presidency position.
Ramaphosa left it very late to accept the challenge, leaving even his key lobbyists in doubt.
"We hear rumours that he may not accept [the nomination],” said one of his lobbyists, a uMkhonto We Sizwe veteran, on Sunday morning.
By noon on Sunday however, it appeared that Ramaphosa had indeed accepted the nomination.
Until now, Ramaphosa’s position on the nomination has been a headache for those supporting Zuma, who want the businessman as the second-in-command.
If he had declined, Zuma would face a situation in which he would be forced to accept a deputy president from the pro-change group. The ANC is expected to officially announce the top six leadership nominations to delegates on Sunday evening and Ramaphosa's candidacy will be included.
Ramaphosa has garnered nearly 2 000 nomination votes from provinces..