The clock is ticking on the "coming days" that ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa said would see the resolution of the "transition" and matters related to President Jacob Zuma's future. Thursday's ANC parliamentary caucus was a pit stop on that path. In the background: a series of meetings, for which Ramaphosa cleared his diary. In the forefront: not much as the ANC kicks for touch. It's the traditional behaviour pattern of an ANC that closes ranks when under pressure, intent not to be seen to follow anyone's tune, even if damage is wreaked all round.
The often combative, sometimes even crude, tone of ANC parliamentary caucus meetings appears to have disappeared. In its stead, maybe something that could be described as more business-like, down-played and even friendly, if sombre.
There was no song, no loud chattering as ANC MPs left the Old Assembly Chamber. There were smiles and the odd "Hello" from MPs to the assembled media, and a little way from the cameras and smartphones, a quiet private chat between fellow ANC parliamentarians.
Officially, the ANC parliamentary caucus was urged to implement the decisions of the December national conference, according to ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule...