ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane has claimed that some national party leaders are conspiring with officials in the province to undermine him.The provincial executive committee (PEC) believed it was no accident that ANC headquarters Luthuli House had failed to file papers to oppose a court application by a group of disgruntled party members in the province, Mabuyane told City Press.These dissatisfied members want the court to order the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) to implement recommendations contained in the Sbu Ndebele panel’s report. In the document, Ndebele says the Eastern Cape ANC’s executive should be disbanded and that fresh leadership elections should take place within three months.The NEC tasked Ndebele, a former transport minister and KwaZulu-Natal premier, with investigating the legitimacy of the fractious conference held in East London in October last year.Mabuyane said that in March, the NEC in effect rejected the report when it decided that the Eastern Cape PEC was legitimate.Mabuyane supported President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s national elective conference at Nasrec last year. He alleged that some national leaders were behind the delay in filing responding papers.ANC secretary-general (SG) Ace Magashule was meant to sign the court papers so they could be filed on time. He supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over from Zuma at Nasrec.“The plot was that there must be a default judgment on Monday, when the NEC is sitting. I had to wake up and call the SG and everyone nationally and ask why are you not filing papers?” Mabuyane said.He said it was part of a plot to destabilise the ANC in the province.Certain individuals were plotting with senior ANC leaders – whose names he did not want to mention – to manipulate the party in the Eastern Cape, he claimed.“They were part of the lobby group going to the national conference. You have that kind of behaviour. We know it. We are putting it under a microscope.“I have raised it with the SG. He has assured us that he has nothing to do with these people, but we are watching,” Mabuyane said.One of those involved in the court application is Mawande Ndakisa, an Eastern Cape and ANC Youth League member. He said they were taking the legal route because Ramaphosa and other ANC leaders had failed to provide leadership on the provincial ANC’s problems.“The NEC must ask itself what it must do when it fails to resolve internal issues, before it goes around threatening us, when it failed to lead us. People resort to courts because the NEC has rendered itself useless on these issues.“If the NEC does not want to lead us, we will retreat and wait for the time when Cyril is no longer a darling of the courts,” Ndakisa said.Mabuyane said part of the problem was that the Eastern Cape ANC was being unfairly compared to the state of the party in other provinces.“In the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal you have court cases that are instructing the ANC to do things right.“In the Eastern Cape you have court outcomes that say, ANC you have done everything right. But the ANC is refusing to protect that which is being confirmed by the courts.“And it is being argued that it’s the same thing with what is happening in the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. There is no such. Here we have done things right. The court has agreed.”Mabuyane said ANC members who challenged the legitimacy of his leadership collective in court, or through ANC processes, were being destructive.Mabuyane was elected at a controversial and violent conference. Delegates supporting him and Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle to become chairperson flung chairs at one another during a fight about credentials. Masualle, the then provincial ANC chairperson, lost to Mabuyane.Masualle complained to the NEC, which appointed Ndebele to investigate. A group of Masualle supporters subsequently brought a high court bid to challenge the validity of the conference. Mabuyane said they had been meticulous and had done everything by the book in their preparations for the conference. Neither the courts nor Ndebele’s recommendations could undo this, he said.“The body of the Sbu Ndebele report tells you that the disruptions in the conference were premeditated,” he said.ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe did not reply to requests for comment.