Former finance minister Trevor Manuel has predicted that the ANC's elective conference in December could collapse during the adoption of credentials.
Speaking at the Eric Molobi lecture at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday, Manuel claimed branch numbers would be manipulated to produce a specific outcome using taxpayers' money.
He made reference to an allegation depicted in Jacques Pauw's book, The President's Keepers , where allegations emerged during the ANC's 53rd elected conference in Mangaung that crime intelligence boss Colonel Nkosana "Killer" Ximba, (who allegedly has close ties to President Jacob Zuma) had used over R2m of taxpayers' money to "grease the wheels".
"Everybody knows there wasn't much of a contest between the slates in Mangaung. If that effort required R2m to grease delegates' palms, pause and consider how much money will be used on the conference in December, that was taxpayers' money."
Manuel said the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) produced a national crisis in the leadership of the party, which trickled down to provinces and regions.
"The ill-conceived NEC elected in Mangaung produced at its watch a crisis of illegitimate provincial executives that, in turn, oversaw the elections of poor regional executives and, in turn, destroyed the branch structures."
This, he said, has led to the manipulation of numbers - specifically ballooning ANC branch numbers since Mangaung.
"By 2015, the numbers had declined to 769 807. My hunch is there is a prospect of fresh manipulation of numbers as suggested by [former president] Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe recently.
"If this is so, the likelihood of the conference collapsing into a heap at the point of credentials on day one and two is great."
He said the collapse of the conference will be in the interest of those currently holding powerful positions in government and in state institutions.