"The secretariat wrote that the Eastern Cape leadership should be dissolved and that was not what the NWC had agreed on," said one source.
"Now, when NWC members objected, the NEC agreed that the leadership should not be disbanded.
"Instead, the leadership was instructed to work together with other factions that complained against them."
The leadership of the ANC in Eastern Cape has been in dispute since a controversial provincial conference late last year which saw Mabuyane defeat premier Phumulo Masualle as provincial chairman.
At the time of the conference, Mabuyane and his supporters were openly campaigning for Ramaphosa to be ANC president while those who backed Masualle also tended to be sympathetic to then president Jacob Zuma.
Late last year, the ANC appointed a team headed by former KwaZulu-Natal premier Sbu Ndebele to probe the dispute between the two factions.
At the weekend, the NEC, according to a source, rejected the Ndebele report on the grounds that it inaccurately stated that delegates to the disputed conference had not adopted membership credentials before the start of the conference, when actually they did.
Instead of disbanding the PEC, the NEC at the weekend ordered Mabuyane and his team to work closely with their rivals in rebuilding the party in the province. It also ruled that, while the ANC in the province can bring about changes in the provincial government, it cannot remove Masualle as premier.