Squabbles over leadership positions within the ANC and its partners have led to it withdrawing a motion of no-confidence against Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba , the party's regional spokesperson, Jodilee Matongo, said.
The ANC in the Johannesburg council retreated with its tails between its legs on Thursday as Mashaba survived to fight another day.
The party, which had confidently proclaimed it would oust Mashaba in its second motion of no-confidence, said it had failed to reach an agreement with opposition parties during closed round table talks.
The ANC had submitted motions against chair of chairs Alex Christian and chief whip John Works, which it also withdrew.
Speaking to the media shortly afterwards, Matongo said the party had decided to withdraw the motions as a result of negotiations.
"We decided, let's tactically withdraw the motions for now. The reasons for the motions still stand, they will still be presented at the September meeting."
Matongo said the decision was the ANC's way of respecting its partners.
He told journalists the negotiations had fallen flat after its coalition partners failed to agree on certain positions.
"This particular negotiation happened up until the last moments, so it's not a matter of saying a day before the motion, we finalised the negotiations.
"Several matters were put on the table in relation to the first day, when we come into power as to who is going to be mayor, and the cabinet that will be instituted. Those matters we needed to make sure everybody is happy so that when the motion succeeds, we do not have problems."
Matongo said the proposals with some of the ANC's partners came at a late stage, adding principle agreements with the ANC's partners were still in place.
On Thursday morning, he, however, said they had demanded to know what positions they would hold in the council.
Mashaba said he was angered and disappointed by the ANC's actions, saying 35 000 city employees had lived in uncertainty because of this.
"What was the reason for them all of sudden to really waste our time. For the last six weeks, our residents, our employees were subjected to this uncertainty and to withdraw the motion at the last minute like this is totally unacceptable. It's unforgivable and personally, I'm angry because the ANC, the way they operate is unfair to our residents."