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'Co-operate or be expelled'

Work together, or: North West ANC provincial chairman Supra Mahumapelo. PHOTO: Elisha Molefe
Work together, or: North West ANC provincial chairman Supra Mahumapelo. PHOTO: Elisha Molefe

SENIOR ANC leaders have issued a stern warning to warring North West factions to either work together or face expulsion.

Though the warning is believed to have been aimed particularly at provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge and chairman Supra Mahumapelo - who allegedly lead the powerful factions seeking to entrench themselves in the province - ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told Sowetan the warning was meant for the entire provincial executive committee (PEC).

A delegation sent by the ruling party's national working committee (NWC) - led by deputy president Kgalema Motlhanthe and secretary- general Gwede Mantashe - is said to have laid the blame for persistent factionalism in the province squarely at the door of the two politicians.

Said Mthembu: "Yes, there was a meeting. Strong words were used and the entire PEC was told to mend their ways and stop dividing the party. They accepted they were in the wrong."

Mthembu would not go into details but said another meeting had been scheduled for August. Both Mataboge and Mahumapelo were not immediately available for comment.

At the conclusion of Monday's meeting - held at the Mafikeng Hotel School - Motlanthe and Mantashe instructed both Mataboge and Mahumapelo to put an end to their continuous machinations or be axed from the party.

The functioning of the North West ANC has been compromised for some time by infighting and a hankering after power by leaders in the province.

The battles have seen regional executive structures being disbanded while, in June, two successive provincial general councils saw Mahumapelo, treasurer Philly Mapolane, deputy provincial secretary Gordon Kegakilwe, spokesman Kenny Morolong and PEC member Matthew Wolmarans expelled from the organisation.

The ANC later issued a statement setting aside the dismissals.

Two sources - a senior ANC official and a PEC member - confirmed that Mataboge and Mahumapelo were given a dressing down before being issued with the severe warning.

"Both the deputy president and secretary-general were emphatic that Kabelo and Supra work together or someone would be expelled," one source said.

"They were told that their behaviour needed to be exemplary, failing which the province would be plunged into more chaos," the informant said.

"The ANC fears that the ongoing internal strife could result in the party losing the province in coming elections." - molatlhwao@sowetan.co.za