Mbete, as current chairperson of the ANC, is another female candidate who has been mentioned in the debate about a female president.
She was among the first women to say she would avail herself if nominated by branches. However, her name does not feature in a pro-female president list that is doing the rounds.
Earlier this year, Mbete was seen to be in campaign mode when she told delegates at a provincial meeting of the ANC in Limpopo that some party MPs were plotting to oust Zuma. This was seen as an attempt to ingratiate herself with the president.