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ANC's NEC to meet today over party mayoral candidates

There have also been claims that Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau may not be nominated to the post.

FILE: ANC President Jacob Zuma and Gauteng ANC chair Paul Mashatile wave at the crowd of thousands of party supporters during their Gauteng Manifesto launch at the FNB stadium in Soweto on 4 June 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)'s National Executive Committee is meeting today to decide on who will be the party's mayoral candidates amid claims of divisions over who should represent the party in Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

There have also been claims that Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau may not be nominated to the post and that Connie Bapela will become the ANC's official candidate.

It's been claimed that current Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramakgopa is facing a tough challenge in the ANC's Tshwane region and that another candidate could be nominated.

Tau had seemed to be secure as the ANC's pick for Joburg but there is now speculation that some people in Gauteng want to nominate Bapela instead.

Bapela would help the ANC achieve its aim of a 50/50 gender representation but Tau is the chair of the ANC's Joburg region so her nomination could lead to two centres of power.

However, the situation in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality seems more stable where it's reported that Danny Jordaan is the only person nominated by his structure.

Amid claims of divisions, South African Communist Party (SACP) leader and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the ANC needs to find a new way to manage leadership change.

He said if it continues to have leadership elections, it risks imploding as a political party.

The SACP leader's comments come amid claims that a group of premiers, known as the 'premier league', are trying to influence next year's ANC leadership election.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News , he also said it's clear that when Thabo Mbeki was recalled as president in 2008, the symptoms of factionalism were dealt with but not the cause.

Speaking as the ANC prepares to go into a leadership election next year, Nzimande said the party should not go through another contested leadership election like it did at Polokwane.

He said it seems nothing has changed in the party since 2007, adding that his party won't officially back anyone, should there be a contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and African Union (AU) Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

WATCH: Blade Nzimande: ANC risks imploding if it continues to change leaders