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Loyalists of embattled politician Ziba Jiyane say they have unearthed a "secret contract" between rival Nadeco leader Hawu Mbatha and the ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Jiyane faithful are in a battle for his survival, trying to get him to win back the presidency of the party.
This after Mbatha won a series of court battles between the two leaders, and eventually during the first-ever federal conference in April.
A source says the contract reveals that should the ANC win back three critical municipalities in the province - Newcastle, Ndwedwe and Mhlathuze - two members from Mbatha's faction will get national deputy ministerial positions in the government and an MEC position in the province.
Nadeco has the deciding vote in these municipalities.
"The two have committed themselves to a deal signed on paper. It contains the signatures of senior NEC members of Nadeco and ANC leaders in the province."
The agreement also details that Nadeco will not challenge the ANC on any critical issues in the province.
"Premier Ndebele is so desperate that he is prepared to reshuffle his cabinet. He spoke strongly about winning back these municipalities during the ANC provincial policy conference and now this commitment," said source.
At present about nine Nadeco councilors have been called in to a disciplinary hearing. The known Jiyane supporters are facing charges of transgressing the party's constitution.
"Some have been forced to sign resignation letters because they fear they might cross the floor next month. But they have been promised that soon after the window period expires, they would be reaccepted back to the party and positions," said our source.
Nadeco secretary-general Vincent Ngema confirmed that he received a document from the ANC.
"They proposed that we strengthen our local working relationship with a view to taking it to another level. They suggested that we need to agree on some sort of working relationship as it was before," said Ngema.
He said he had forwarded the documents to their local structures because it affected them directly.
ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu confirmed the document, but said it had no promises of positions or anything.
"In principle, we agreed and then decided that there should be an official document, and after their April conference we met again to revisit what we agreed on," said Mchunu.