The power shift in the ANC is unsettling members who were strongly opposed to Jacob Zuma becoming party president, a senior party member, who asked to remain anonymous, told Sowetan yesterday.
"They spread lies about JZ during their campaign in Polokwane to return Number One [President Thabo Mbeki] as president," said the source.
"Their campaign was dirty and they misused state resources because they had too much to lose. They benefited materially under Number One," he said.
Most of the premiers and mayors who were perceived to have supported Mbeki in Polokwane fear they may be ousted before their terms end.
"Their fears are not motivated by the interests of the people, but by their pockets."
There are already strong indications that provincial leaders such as North West Premier Edna Molewa, Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto and KwaZulu-Natal Premier S'bu Ndebele will not be returned to their positions as chairmen in the April elections.
ANC spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said: "With change there would be a level of uncertainty, but to say fears are based on facts is exaggerate.
"There is no plan by the ANC leadership to purge people from leadership positions."