African National Congress president Cyril Ramaphosa’s camp has decided to drop its challenge to have disputed votes included in the final tally for the all powerful position of the secretary general of the party.
The group has been in marathon conference steering committee meetings over the 60 plus votes that were "quarantined" and not included in the final results outcome.
They wanted the votes included, with the hope that former KwaZulu-Natal premier and provincial chair Senzo Mchunu will overturn Free State premier Ace Magashule’s secretary general victory.
A Ramaphosa supporter, who was in the steering committee, told News24 that they decided "it was too risky to push forward" as it could potentially impact Ramaphosa’s own presidential victory.
"We felt it would damage Ramaphosa’s presidential victory. We could not tamper with it," the source said.
The source, who did not want to be identified, noted that only 28 votes were credible out of the 68 or 63 votes that were set aside. He said they had no guarantees the that they would sway the outcome in Mchunu’s favour.
"We had no proof of who the 28 voted for, the votes could have gone to either Mchunu or Magashule," the source said.
He said defeated presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s caucus pushed hard in the meetings, arguing that the 68 were not eligible to vote.
They continued to threaten that they would call for fresh elections for the entire top six positions, risking collapsing the already fragile conference.
Earlier, another source within the Ramaphosa caucus had told News24 that the votes were "quarantined" because the delegates did not appear on the voter’s roll even though the delegates had accreditation tags.
It is widely expected that Mchunu would go to court to challenge the outcome, however there is confusion over whether that will happen or not, and over the estimated number of credible votes of those quarantined.
Some in Ramaphosa’s camp have expressed their lack of support for a court challenge.
"We tried to convince him [Mchunu] not to go, but he seems determined to challenge the results," the source said.
News24 understands that the Ramaphosa caucus had received legal advice on Tuesday.