ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo has threatened a re-run of the election of the entire ANC top six if Senzo Mchunu's supporters insist on a recount of the election results for the secretary-general position.
Mchunu lost the position by 24 votes to Free State chair Ace Magashule.
Complaints were lodged following the outcome, with claims that 68 votes were unaccounted for during the final tally for the secretary-general post.
The ANC's 54th national elective conference's steering committee is now meeting over the matter. It is understood this will also be discussed at plenary, when delegates gather ahead of electing the party's new national executive committee.
"Certain things you have to accept to live with in the ANC, even if you are not happy or uncomfortable with certain positions," said Mahumapelo.
The steering committee includes provincial secretaries and representatives of the party's three leagues. News24 understands that the votes were counted three times on Monday.
68 votes 'quarantined'
A source in the steering committee said about 68 votes were set aside because of some "technicality", however they were never put back after the dispute was resolved.
Another source told News24 that the 68 votes in dispute where "quarantined" because those who voted were not on the ANC's voters' roll but had accreditation.
The steering committee will have to decide if the votes in the quarantined envelope will be considered.
Whatever the outcome of the steering committee meeting, the dispute is expected to be raised at plenary.
Following the announcement of the results on Monday night, a shocked Mchunu was seen walking up to the stage where he spoke to officials from EleXions Agency, an independent organisation that oversaw the election process, requesting to see the results. News24 understands that before Magashule was declared the winner, Mchunu had received information that he had won the election and his supporters had expected him to be announced the winner of the position, seen as the engine of Luthuli house.
Overturning results a 'threat to reputation of ANC, country'
In an interview on News24's Polotiki live broadcast, Mahumapelo said that should there be a push for a recount, forces aligned with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who lost out to the party's top post to Cyril Ramaphosa, would oppose it and if that fails they would call for a rerun of the election of the top six positions.
He said the insistence to look into the results, and possibly have them overturned, would damage the reputation of both the ANC and the country.
"The whole world knows there are results, you can't now start complaining about things that can be resolved quietly. The image of the ANC is at stake here," said Mahumapelo.
He urged all those involved to think beyond their emotions.
The ANC North West chairperson also cautioned delegates at the conference against making any hasty decisions on the matter, calling for them to think carefully on the issue.
He said if there is a recount for one position then the rest of the top six positions had to be subjected to that process too.
"We must engage ourselves and deal with all the deficiencies that are there," said Mahumapelo.
The elective conference has been marred by numerous allegations of vote buying, disputes over delegates and court challenges that forced KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and North West to withdraw voting delegates.