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Supra Mahumapelo dodges bullet but not off the hook

North Wesr premier Supra Mahumapelo.
North Wesr premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Image: Phill Magakoe

The national working committee of the ANC did not take a decision to recall North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

The NWC met in Cape Town on Wednesday where, after debating the unrest in North West spread by community members who want Mahumapelo fired, it decided to make a recommendation to the national executive committee (NEC) that Mahumapelo be recalled.

The NEC meeting would only take place on Monday if he had not resigned by then.

Sources who attended the meeting said it was decided that the ANC officials, who include President Cyril Ramaphosa, should engage Mahumapelo privately to discuss his future.

The officials have to tell him that given what had happened in his province, he should resign or face a recall by the NEC.

The recall, which would be tabled at the NEC meeting as an NWC report, would be debated and if the majority in the meeting agreed, then he would be forced to go.

Those who attended the meeting said there was a concern that should Mahumapelo be recalled by the ANC that could set a bad precedent as communities in other provinces could protest calling for the removal of premiers.

But there was also a view that he should step down because of the corruption allegations levelled against him.

The officials have been tasked to speak to him about all the allegations raised by communities and alliance partners in his province.

"We asked the officials to engage him in a constructive mode and that engagement may lead to Supra volunteering to step down.

"We are on a crossroads because we can see other provinces being in flames and people asking that we fire another premier. We have to handle the process with care," an NWC member said.

Another source in the NWC said the officials may propose that all departments in the North West government be put under administration.

The NWC also took a decision to push ahead with conferences in various provinces where new leaders would be elected. These provinces include the highly contested KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free State.

In a letter written by party secretary-general Ace Magashule, he told the structures in KwaZulu-Natal that the NWC urgently requested the provincial task team to immediately resolve issues of "membership authenticity and gate keeping".

It stated that the NWC wanted the provincial leaders to urgently address threats of violence raised by members.

The letter also stated that the national officials would start the political intervention in Eastern Cape after disputes were lodged following its conference last year, which turned violent.

In Free State, the NWC ordered the task team to prepare for the provincial conference in line with the court order that affects 14 branches.

The Free State conference that had elected Magashule as chairperson was nullified by the court in December last year after it was proved that the conference was held unlawfully.

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