Supporters of ANC president Jacob Zuma took over the political reins in Limpopo at the weekend after their favoured candidate was elected the province's new chairman.
Cassell Mathale beat Premier Sello Moloto by 234 votes during the ANC's provincial elective conference in Thohoyandou. Mathale received 587 votes, Moloto 353.
The result puts Mathale in a favourable position to become part of the new government after next year's election and Moloto's future as premier in now in limbo.
The ANC recently took a decision to axe two government officials - Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela and Western Cape Premier Ibrahim Rasool - both Mbeki supporters.
Yesterday Moloto was quoted as saying he would accept any decision by the ANC "as long as it is based on democratic procedures and principles".
A senior Limpopo government official recently told Sowetan Moloto was preparing to leave government when his term ends next April.
"He's well aware that his chances of being reappointed premier are zero. On the other hand, he does not see himself becoming an ordinary member of parliament," said the official.
Other newly elected members to the top five ANC Limpopo provincial executive are Motalane Monakedi (deputy chairman), Joe Maswanganyi (general secretary), Pinkie Kekana (deputy secretary) and Dipuo Letsatsi (treasurer).