ANC President Jacob Zuma, middle, with ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete, left and the party's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa at the NEC in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA Reporter

Pretoria - The status of the volatile African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal (KNZ) has been scheduled as the final item to be discussed at the ongoing National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Pretoria, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Friday.

"Of course we will have an item on the KZN conference. That is a stand-alone item on the agenda of the NEC. We have so far received the political overview of the president of the ANC (Jacob Zuma). This is the last real NEC of this term," Mantashe said speaking to several journalists at the conference.

He said the next NEC meeting, to be held in November, will be finalising the report of the governing party's top structure for the national conference scheduled for December.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zilalala at the current National Executive Committee meeting in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA Reporter

"For all intents and purposes, this is the last National Executive Committee meeting of this term. That's it," said Mantashe.

Journalists however probed further on the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial structure.

Mantashe revealed that discussions on KwaZulu-Natal had been scheduled as last item on the agenda because of specific reasons. 

"We don't want it to actually derail us from discussing organisational issues, and we just focus on one item because it is emotional," he said.

The party had received advice from a senior counsel regarding how to proceed, after the High Court ruling that nullified the 2015 elective conference results in KwaZulu-Natal.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe speaking journalists at the NEC meeting in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA Reporter

"That advice is to the NEC. It is in the NEC," he said.

The ANC's provincial executive committee, led by chairperson Sihle Zikalala, has appealed the high court decision that declared it unlawful. Zikalala was seen at the NEC meeting in Pretoria.

On September 12, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial ANC elective conference in November 2015 was unlawful. 

In that conference, then ANC chairperson, Senzo Mchunu, was defeated by then provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and it paved the way for Mchunu’s subsequent removal as KZN Premier in 2016. Some MECs were also removed along with Mchunu in what was seen as purge. 

Reading the decision, Judge Jerome Dube set aside the conference and its outcomes.