09/04/2018 09:03 BST | Updated 09/04/2018 09:17 BST

No End In Sight For ANC KZN Leadership Battle

No guarantees can be given on when the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the ruling party will hold a conference to elect a new provincial executive.

Pontsho Mabena
ANC provincial task team leader in KwaZulu-Natal, Mike Mabuyakhulu.

"Unforeseen circumstances" have delayed the work of the ANC's task team in KwaZulu-Natal to facilitate the process of electing a new leadership structure in the province.

The team cannot guarantee that KZN will have a new ANC provincial executive committee by the 2019 elections.

It will now meet with the party's national leadership to extend its tight timelines and map the way forward.

In an interview with HuffPost, Mike Mabuyakhulu - who heads the ANC's provincial task team in KZN, an interim leadership structure - said when the unit was appointed in January, it was given three months to prepare for regional conferences.

READ: KZN ANC Elective Votes Lost As PEC Remains Dissolved

"It has been very clear that during this period in which we were able to put forward our own road map, we set ourselves specific timelines. Some of those timelines, because of factors and conditions beyond anyone's control, have not been easy to meet," he said.

"We had the issue of membership cut-off date at February 10. We had to start with the audit processes at a branch level. We had to wait for the final approval of the audit, which is done by the secretary general's [Ace Magashule] office. There have been some factors beyond anyone's control."

Mabuyakhulu said a provincial elective conference was scheduled for mid-April.

"[The delay] necessitates that we talk to the national leadership to relook at our timeline, particularly of the dates of the provincial conference. The very same timelines have had a bearing on the regions. We think, therefore, that we are at a stage of engaging with the national leadership to take stock of where we are and to see how we can then proceed based on these factors that have occurred," he said.

READ: 'Zuma's Case Won't Divide ANC' – ANC KZN

Asked if the province will have a new provincial executive committee before the 2019 national elections, Mabuyakhulu said he could make no guarantees.

"This is an issue that is up for discussion with the national leadership... It is not easy for me to make a categorical statement until we have met with national leadership."

In January, the NEC resolved to disband the PEC after the high court in Pietermaritzburg found that its election in 2015 was unlawful. The court set aside the results of the election, throwing the ANC in the province into disarray.

But the PTT has also been working on mending relations between various ANC factions in the province.

READ: ANC In KwaZulu-Natal Denies 'Breakaway' Campaign

"It is common cause that one of the exercises we are simultaneously embarking upon at a provincial level is forging and enhancing unity between and among the ANC members. Our engagement in the process of enhancing and building unity between the members of the ANC and our strategic allies is an ongoing process," Mabuyakhulu said.

"And we do so because we will not become denialists to deny the fact that there have been issues of consternation between members of the ANC both before and post the 2015 conferece that now has resulted in the PEC being suspended by the NEC... It is a responsibility of each and every ANC leader to ensure that we are able to instil unity."