ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has shot down the idea of having too many ANC presidential candidates.

“It’s ridiculous because‚ as an organisation‚ we know one another. We know who has what capacity and therefore it can’t be that we are so confused that there are eight candidates‚” said Mantashe.

“The reality is that we will look at the nominations once people have shown their hands – and nominations will only start now. And only after that process will we know how many candidates we have‚” said Mantashe.

He was speaking after delivering a memorial lecture on former ANC president Oliver Reginald Tambo in KwaThema on the East Rand

His remarks come as the ANC’s succession battle is taking shape ahead of the elective conference in December.

It is known that there are six people hoping to take over when ANC president Jacob Zuma’s term ends.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are leading the race.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has announced she is available for the ANC’s top job. The party’s treasurer general‚ Zweli Mkhize‚ chairperson Baleka Mbete and former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa have also stepped forward.