The African National Congress (ANC) is in a race to appoint a premier for the North West after the party top brass reportedly shot down three names put forward at the governing party’s national executive committee meeting over the weekend.
Apart from the North West matter, the ANC NEC meeting had to attend to other top contentious issues – the continuing political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, land expropriation without compensation following adoption of resolutions at the party’s land summit that have to be ratified at the NEC, and a replacement of former premier Supra Mahumapelo in the troubled platinum province.
It remains to be seen whether the governing party has agreed on Mahumapelo’s replacement. The post-NEC briefing would be held Tuesday afternoon.
Secretary general Ace Magashule told reporters on Saturday that there needed to be ”further consultation” with the North West ANC following the rebuff of three names, who are reportedly allies of Mahumapelo.
”The provincial executive committee is supposed to give us three names, they have done so but we further want to engage with the PEC as well as other structures so that we resolve problems facing the North West once and for all,” Magashule said.
Media reports suggested the three candidates were former education MEC O.J Tselapedi, agriculture MEC Manketsi Tlhape and acting ANC provincial secretary general, Susan Dantjie.
Embattled Mahumapelo finally stepped down last week, citing a decision to take an “early retirement.” Mahumapelo was under pressure to resign after residents in Mahikeng went on the rampage in April calling for Mahumapelo to resign over allegations of corruption. The widespread protests shut down the province’s capital Mahikeng, looting shops and damaging property.
A ministerial task team led by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma investigated governance issues in the North West, resulting in President Cyril Ramaphosa placing the province under the control of the national government in terms of section 100 of the Constitution.
Before he threw in the towel, Mahumapelo rescinded his resignation and then chaired a provincial executive meeting to decide his fate. He then put himself on special leave and appointed corruption-accused finance MEC Wendy Nelson as acting premier.
Mahumapelo, the man also known as ”Black Jesus” among his supporters remains ANC provincial chairman. He was appointed premier in 2014 by the former president, Jacob Zuma.
Previous premiers of the platinum province are newly appointed Transnet board chairman Popo Molefe (1994 -2004), Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa (2004-2009), Maureen Modiselle (2009 – 2010) and National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise 2010 -2014).