ANC chairperson and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has denied the existence of a "premier league" within the party during an interview with Onkgopotse JJ Tabane on Power FM's Power Perspective show on Tuesday night.
The premier league is the name given to the alliance between the premiers of the Free State, North West, and Mpumalanga.
The premier league is thought to be a powerful support structure of President Jacob Zuma.
Mabuza told Tabane that he had been part of factionalism in the past, but that no "premier league" existed now. He also said that the three premiers had never met as a threesome.
"I will tell you that in the past I participated in factional activities. In Polokwane we were a faction and we were divided into two. In Mangaung we were divided into two. I don't know why coincidentally DD, Ace and Supra were isolated as The Premier League."
He said that a number of provinces were allied together at Manguang, excluding Gauteng.
"The factional activities, when we went to Polokwane, we were meeting as a group. And there were many. There were many, and I was in that group. Discussing our own slate, and all that. When we went to Mangaung, we met and in that group the SACP was there. [The Congress of South African Trade Unions] was there. A number of provinces were there, with the exception of Gauteng. And you'll know that each time we were on the opposite side of [Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile]. In Polokwane we were on the opposite side, and in Mangaung we were on the opposite side."