Disgruntled ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal are standing up to support the breakaway group led by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota.
A group led by Phillip Mhlongo, and made up of former ANC and SACP office bearers in the province, said at the weekend they were firmly behind the new party Lekota will form.
Mhlongo and his brother Siyanda made headlines before the ANC's conference in Polokwane when they openly criticised Jacob Zuma and his supporters.
They were vocal in their support of former president Thabo Mbeki despite the provincial ANC throwing its weight behind Zuma as party president.
Yesterday an emotional Phillip Mhlongo said it was easy to volunteer and organise a drive for representatives to Lekota's national convention because the ANC leaders had failed to deal with "hooligans" in the party.
He cited the burning of T-shirts bearing Mbeki's image as a "typical example of how hooligans go unpunished by the party". He said his group would take more than 50 members to the convention. They were not afraid of the consequences, though they remained members of the ANC in good standing.
The group's spokesman, Nhlanhla Buthelezi, a former member of the SACP in Durban, said they had held consultative meetings in the province with senior members of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu, religious organisations and the public.
He said the meetings arose from events before and after the Polokwane conference.