ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe has been left holding the baby in the party's case against ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
ANC insiders have said the party's top five leaders, including President Jacob Zuma, have "washed their hands" of the case.
Malema's hearing resumes tomorrow at the ANC headquarters Luthuli House, with Mantashe expected to lead evidence against Malema.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom is chairing the hearing.
Insiders say Zuma initially supported action against Malema because he felt that the youth leader "has gone too far".
Malema said Zuma was no different from former president Thabo Mbeki after the president had publicly admonished him for his public utterances.
But when Zuma saw the groundswell support for Malema within the ANC leadership he dumped the matter on Mantashe.
Already Mantashe is said to be on the back foot following claims that last week Malema had apologised to the national working committee and his apology was accepted. Mantashe apparently insisted on charging Malema.
Meanwhile, ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa has rejected suggestions that his representation of Malema in the hearing was part of his (Phosa's) attempt to save his political career.
"It was a simple request to represent a colleague. it has nothing to do with me or my career. "