Johannesburg - Voting began for the top five positions of the ANC's OR Tambo region, in the Eastern Cape, on Monday morning, provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said.

“The voting began in the early hours of this morning, and it is now is in full-swing,” he said.

“We have 587 voting delegates, and they will be voting throughout the day. We will begin counting the votes after they are done and it is highly probable that we will know the outcomes today.”

The regional congress began on Saturday. However, it was delayed due to disputes over the delegates' credentials.

“The credentials were provisionally accepted on Sunday, after all the issues were dealt with,” Qoboshiyane said.

“The congress accepted the outcome on credentials.”

The Sowetan reported on Monday that the congress came to a halt on Sunday after allegations that some of the membership figures were inflated, and that there were several “ghost” delegates.

The outcome of the election would be integral to President Jacob Zuma's bid to retain the leadership of the party at its national congress in Mangaung at the end of the year.

The region is the largest in the Eastern Cape, and the second largest ANC region in the country after eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal - Zuma's home province.

The battle for chairmanship of the region was reportedly between current chair Thandekila Sabisa, who is allegedly pushing for a change in the national leadership, and William Ngozi, who is allegedly part of the Zuma lobby group.

The congress is being held at the Walter Sisulu University's Zamukulungiswa campus, in Mthatha. - Sapa