A pro-Jacob Zuma task team could be deployed to KwaZulu-Natal to replace the current ANC provincial executive committee (PEC), according to party sources.This follows last week’s court ruling that the 2015 election of the PEC was invalid, dealing a major blow to Zuma’s backers in the province.However, a new plan that was hatched in the past few days would see the president’s KZN supporters effectively retaining control of the province’s branches and regions. Sources within the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) told The Witness that provincial ruling party structures which had been determined to appeal the court ruling had changed their mind following a briefing on the plan. These included staunch Zuma supporters the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and ANC Youth League (ANCYL).“Initially these structures were not prepared to accept the judgment. But after being told disbanding the PEC will not tilt the scales of power in the province they began warming up to suggestions that it might not be a good idea to challenge that court decision,” an NEC member from KZN said.According to the plan, Zuma supporters within the NEC will back the proposal to disband the PEC led by current provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala at its meeting on Friday.A task team will then be appointed to oversee provincial branches’ preparations for the ruling party’s December elective conference.An NEC source said they would fight “tooth and nail” at the NEC meeting to ensure that the task team’s powers and functions are restricted to branches and not to regional structures.The meeting on Friday was scheduled to focus on whether to appeal the Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment that the 2015 ousting of provincial leader Senzo Mchunu was irregular.Mchunu is part of the ANC faction backing current ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the party’s national leadership battle. Zuma supporters in the province want former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her former husband.Former provincial premier Mchunu’s supporters, which include the SACP, Cosatu and a sizeable number of disgruntled ruling party members, have called on current provincial leader Sihle Zikalala and the entire PEC to step down following the court ruling.However, by Wednesday some of Mchunu’s backers were no longer certain whether the ruling would be enough to stop the Zuma camp in the province.“As Cosatu we will make a full assessment of what is transpiring in branches and then present our view of the situation at the appropriate time,” said Cosatu provincial secretary, Edwin Mkhize.In contrast, the Zuma backers were more confident than ever.“If the NEC said we must hold another conference tomorrow there is no doubt that the same PEC would emerge victorious,” ANC provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabela said.However, KK Nkosi, the chairperson of the KZN legislature portfolio committee on finance and also a Ramaphosa backer, warned against any “tactics” that would further divide the party in the province.“I hope that everyone sees this court ruling as an opportunity to unite factions within the ANC in KZN; people must put their pride aside and work towards rebuilding the ANC,” he said.