ANC treasurer-general and presidential hopeful Zweli Mkhize says the ANC stands a chance of losing the 2019 national elections if the party continues to "tear itself apart".
In an interview with HuffPost SA, Mkhize said there were instances where branch nominations were being manipulated throughout the country, and if this was not rectified, the party's national conference in December could be "derailed" by court action.
"There isn't a chance that we [the ANC] can survive... if we continue tearing the organisation apart. We must find a away to pull everyone together and deal with issues that cause differences within the organsation... and build a united organisation and leadership that will create confidence in society and in general," he said.
"If the ANC is able to emerge with a strong, united leadership... it will generate a lot more confidence and support."
Mkhize said disciplinary action needed to be taken against members found guilty of manipulating branch nominations.
"There are instances where manipulation is happening and we need to face up to the fact that those instances must be reported. From the point of view of our processes, we have got space for disputes to be lodged and the national office is going to all provinces to be able to resolve those particular issues," he said.
"If it's actually found that the manipulation has been done it has to be reversed and if we think it is of a nature that it is deliberately offending on the constitution, then there has to be disciplinary action for those who manipulate...
"...It's important for all of this to be cleared before the conference sits because they can actually derail the conference if people decide to take those matters to court."
He said the process towards unity in the party must start before the national conference.
"If we allow tensions to grow to a level where this intolerance between groups who are supporting different candidates then there will be disaster... If we want to see unity after the conference, the process must start before the conference. When we get on to the conference, it must be for a single purpose of building a united ANC," he said.
"A conference that emerges with a clean factional slate that was promoted before that and has got no sense of including all the other leaders in the organisation may be disastrous."