A special ANC national executive committee (NEC) is set to decide on the fate of the party’s Free State and North West leadership structures after party secretary-general Ace Magashule was again criticised for not fully carrying out instructions from the top brass.

This is not the first time Magashule has come under fire for incorrectly reflecting decisions. He was pulled up at the last NEC meeting for misrepresenting national working committee (NWC) recommendations on the status of the Eastern Cape provincial conference.

The struggle over provincial conferences reflects the continued battle for dominance in the ANC between the factions in the mixed leadership elected at the Nasrec conference in 2017.

Business Day understands that there was a strong push by members of the ANC NEC for the North West provincial executive committee to be dissolved.

Three names of potential premiers to replace Supra Mahumapelo, which were put forward by the North West provincial executive committee (PEC), were rejected by the NEC, who was not comfortable with the selection.

But while briefing the media on the outcome of the meeting on Tuesday, Magashule denied that the PEC’s choice for Mahumapelo’s replacement had been rejected, saying the meeting had simply run out of time to process the matter.

The election of the party’s Free State leadership two weeks ago also came under the microscope. The High Court in Bloemfontein set aside a previous elective conference on the argument that 14 branches were not properly constituted and represented.

Business Day understands that questions were raised in the ANC about the status of the newly elected PEC in the Free State.

Provincial assessment

The NEC gave the NWC, which oversees the daily running of the organisation, the task of looking into the situation in both provinces and reporting back to a special NEC meeting.

Sources in the NEC have told Business Day that members expressed concern that the process followed in the run-up to the Free State conference to assess its readiness was incorrect. Magashule was meant to have sent the entire NWC to the province to examine whether the province was ready to hold the conference.

But instead he only sent a "few of his lieutenants".