ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says the party may clamp down on members who rush to court to resolve matters before exhausting all internal processes.

ANC structures have been in turmoil since before the party’s elective conference in December, with a number facing court challenges or litigation threats.

A special national executive committee (NEC) meeting was sitting in Irene, Pretoria, on Monday to discuss the fate of leadership structures in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the North West.

"The court cases we are dealing with because we have said to our members exhaust internal processes. We are at a stage where we are going to say to members who have not exhausted internal processes and decided to go to court that it stops here," Magashule said at the special NEC meeting.

He said the NEC was discussing issues regarding its biggest and most influential province, KwaZulu-Natal.

The province’s elective conference could not take place two weekends ago when a group of ANC members approached the High Court in Pietermaritzburg to have it interdicted.

KwaZulu-Natal has been without leadership since the same court in 2017 nullified its 2015 elective conference after finding some irregularities. The conference, meant to be held from June 8-10, was meant to be a rerun of the 2015 one.

Magashule said the dispute-resolution committee would remain in the province this week to deal with any issues.

"Where we still have challenges is a work in progress," he said. "The mood is very positive and we are happy that we are almost there. The conference will later take place, but we have ensured that they must continue working on building unity."

The special NEC had also dealt with issues in the Eastern Cape and would send officials to the province.

A group of disgruntled ANC members from the province approached the High Court in Johannesburg in a bid to have enforced a report, compiled by a team led by Sbu Ndebele, which was set up to probe the outcomes of last year’s Eastern Cape provincial conference.

The Eastern Cape conference in September turned violent and some delegates left the venue.

The election of the new provincial leadership went ahead, with the election of former secretary Oscar Mabuyane as chairman.

The Ndebele report recommended the provincial executive committee elected at the conference be suspended and an interim structure appointed.

The matter was heard on Monday in the high court, where judgment was reserved.

Magashule said the ANC would wait for the outcome of the court case.

The NEC has yet to discuss the appointment of a North West premier after Supra Mahumapelo had to resign.