African National Congress president Jacob Zuma allegedly compared President Thabo Mbeki's administration to a "dead snake" using Zulu phrases on Sunday, the SABC reported.
"This time in particular, you have an opportunity that as people say...there's an administration coming to an end, so if you do so unjengomuntu oshaya inyoka esifile, ubhizi uyayishaya inyoka ife kudala, uyayishaya kodwa, wasting energy [you are like a person beating a dead snake]," he said addressing an assembly of cadres at the Pretoria Show Grounds.
"You need to be saying how do hit the ground running and therefore how do we prepare our forces, how do we plan?"
His speech followed media reports that ANC leadership was allegedly ready to turn against Mbeki following Friday's Pietermaritzburg High Court judgement in favour of Zuma.
Judge Chris Nicholson ruled that the decision to prosecute Zuma on corruption and fraud charges was invalid.
Nicholson agreed with Zuma that the case against him appeared to be part of a strategy linked to the rivalry between himself and Mbeki for leadership of the ANC.
He said Mbeki's sacking of Zuma as deputy president was unfair. The timing of Zuma's being recharged shortly after being elected president of the ANC in December 2007 was also "most unfortunate".