The ANC’s top brass will hold “unity talks” with warring factions of the party in the Eastern Cape tomorrow.The top six officials, led by President Jacob Zuma, will try to avoid a repeat of what happened in KwaZulu-Natal, when party members went to court and succeeded in having their 2015 provincial elective conference declared invalid. Part of the reason for the court action was that senior party leaders failed to listen to and timeously deal with grievances by members who supported ousted premier Senzo Mchunu.In the Eastern Cape, a group aligned to the current premier and the ANC’s former provincial chairperson, Phumulo Masualle, refuses to recognise the current provincial executive committee (PEC) led by newly elected chairperson Oscar Mabuyane.He was voted in during a chaotic conference at the end of September. It was marred by chair throwing and a brawl between supporters of Mabuyane and Masualle.Currently, the Eastern Cape PEC and regions cannot agree about who to endorse as the next party president, to be elected at the ANC’s national conference in December.On Monday, Mabuyane announced that the PEC had endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma as the next ANC president. Amathole regional secretary Teris Ntuthu subsequently said his region had resolved to support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.Amathole regional leaders including Ntuthu and his regional chairperson Kanyisile Maneli did not attend the new PEC’s first meeting in Mthatha because they did not recognise the new leadership. Leaders of the Joe Gqabi and Nelson Mandela Bay regions, which are known to be sympathetic to Dlamini-Zuma, did the same.Ntuthu said they wanted a rerun of the provincial conference which elected Mabuyane.“The only PEC that we recognise is the one that is led by chairperson Phumulo Masualle. We don’t recognise anyone who was elected after people were beaten with chairs and chased away. When they tried to come back with police we were instructed to prevent them from entering. We don’t recognise such a structure.“We are calling on the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to nullify that PEC until we elect a new PEC next year. Our focus now is on the national conference.“If the NEC does not see things our way and officially endorses the Mabuyane-led PEC, then we will also accept and move on.”Ntuthu said the visit by ANC leaders followed a letter they wrote to Luthuli House complaining about irregularities, bogus delegates and the violence at the conference.He said they had the right to support Dlamini-Zuma and would not be intimidated.“It’s our right to prefer umama Dlamini-Zuma as the next leader of the ANC. We are not going to change our stance on our support for her. We will not be intimidated by anyone,” Ntuthu said.They were not afraid of disciplinary action by the PEC because it had no “standing or locus standi”.Newly elected provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayithobi said regional leaders like Ntuthu had no authority to recognise or reject structures that were above them.“It would be disturbing for the Amathole region to say they do not recognise the PEC. We don’t think that would be wise. We said we must extend an olive branch to them because we understand this is the effect of the shock of losing a conference. We will encourage them to work with us so that we can build the ANC together, but we will act when people are working against the constitution and discipline of the ANC,” he said.