South African ruling party the African National Congress (ANC) presidential hopeful Matthews Phosa's campaign team has withdrawn his urgent application to nullify the outcome of the disputed Mpumalanga provincial general council (PGC) which endorsed ''unity'' ahead of the party's national elective conference set to get under way on Saturday.

Lawyers for the two warring Mpumalanga factions of Premier David Mabuza and Phosa reportedly opted for internal mediation.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, for Ronnie Malomane who brought the application before court, told South Gauteng High Court Judge Edwin Molahlehi that the ''parties have found each other.'' 

Phosa, a former ANC treasurer, wanted the Mpumalanga PGC and the branches that voted for "unity" instead of their preferred candidates be declared null void, and that the provincial executive committee be barred from attending the national elective conference.

Mabuza supporters gathered outside party head quarters, Luthuli House in Johannesburg singing his praises before making their way to the court.

Mpumalanga is the second biggest province after KwaZulu-Natal in terms of numbers of conference delegates that will attend the conference.

Phosa is among the seven presidential hopefuls vying to clinch the ANC top job and replace President Jacob Zuma. 

The other six are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, and Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma have emerged as front runners in the race.

- African News Agency (ANA)