About 100 ANC branches in KwaZulu-Natal have lodged appeals against the branch nomination process, leading up to the ANC's elective conference in December, Business Day reported on Tuesday.
With 870 branches in the province, this number could easily sway the vote.
The branches who have appealed are mainly aligned to presidential candidate Cyril Ramaphosa. The provincial executive committee (PEC), whose election was considered null and void by a court earlier this year, is presiding over the branch nominations. That faction is loyal to Ramaphosa's competitor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
This is because the PEC remains in place while it appeals the court decision.
This number has risen since late October, when Business Day reported that 30 branched had complained. Those complaints were also by supporters of Ramaphosa, and related to allegations of intimidation and use of police and state resources to manipulate the nomination processes. There were even complaints that branch members were refused entry to nomination venues by police.
On Tuesday, Business Day reported that the leadership race was said to be split down the middle, with a national executive committee (NEC) member telling Business Day that the support was expected to be split 50/50 between the two candidates.
Branch nominations closed last Wednesday, but it was reported that branches could still conclude meetings up until the weekend.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told Business Day that the NEC was waiting for feedback on the branch nominations and so could not say how many nominations had been completed or how many complaints were lodged.
Earlier this month, IOL reported that seven branches in KwaZulu-Natal had lodged complaints about the branch general meetings. There were concerns over the voters' roll, with members who are in good standing reportedly excluded from it.
Both factions have campaigned heavily in the province, and both have visited Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini. Last week, Ramaphosa gifted Zwelithini with one of his African long-horned Watusi cattle, according to Times Live.