The ANC's special National Executive Committee which met in Pretoria to discuss the state of its provinces, saw a give-and-take from both sides of the factional divide, with the faction loyal to President Cyril Ramaphosa opting for magnanimity while the other side deciding to come to the party. While the balancing act of choosing political sobriety may have averted a messy fight, the party's top leadership is still sitting with a North West-sized splitting headache and, elsewhere, a flurry of court cases that are not going away.
Before ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe could even open the meeting, a fightback plan was devised by the band of provincial leaders, the known opponents of Ramaphosa, to scupper any attempt to undermine their grip on their provinces - North West, Free State and - to some degree - KwaZulu-Natal.
Part of this plan was to use the ANC in the Eastern Cape as a divergence that would shift the meeting's attention from discussing the legitimacy of the North West and Free State leadership and instead focus on the legitimacy of the Eastern Cape. who are known Ramaphosa backers.
But this efforts to be prepared for a showdown...