MAHIKENG, April 20 – The African National Congress (ANC) will examine allegations of corruption and act on all wrongdoings, National Executive Committee (NEC) member Obed Bapela said on Friday.
“We know that the issue of corruption is uppermost in the mind of the people that there is a lot of corruption even though they are painting it on one individual but, it has gone broader than an individual and therefore we have to really examine that information and test it and based on the facts we will be definitely acting upon any wrongdoing of corruption,” he told reporters at Heritage House commonly known as Cookes Lake, in Danville south of Mahikeng.
President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short his visit in the United Kingdom on Thursday, and called an urgent meeting with all ANC structures and alliance partners in North West, at Cookes Lake in an attempt to found a solution to the ongoing protests in Mahikeng.
Residents in Mahikeng and surrounding villages waged a violent protest calling on North West premier Supra Mahumapelo to resign, accusing him of corruption.
Looting and rioting stopped on Friday, ahead of the ANC crucial meeting to safe North West.
Bapela said the ANC heard the people of the North West and would be doing something that would make them happy.
“The matters that they have raised, we have heard [them] as the ANC, we are now involved by bringing all players her, as we are gathered in Mahikeng to come and listen once more, so that the NEC can make a determination on what is the next step that can save the situation of North West, that the people of North West can be happy that at least finally there is something that the ANC is doing…”
The chairperson of the Young Communist League (YCLSA) in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region, Thapelo Galeboe said the ANC must recall Mahumapelo.
“If Supra is not recalled, the poor and the working class shall see upon themselves to liberate themselves,” he said.
The mass protest started in Motshioa after two people died at a local clinic after they were not helped at the clinic due to strike.
By Thursday, Mahikeng was locked down, shops were looted and vehicle torched. The administration block of Mmabana Arts Foundation in Mmabatho was partially burnt and two vehicles were torched in front of the building.
A filling station and a liquor shop were looted and damaged along the Vryburg road.
On Friday, the protest spilled to Zeerust, Wolmaransstad, and Makwassie.
The Azanian Peoples Organisation (Azapo) in North West said it supports the call for Mahumapelo to vacate office.
“An alarm had been raised as early as February in the meeting that turned into a fistfight at Ratshidi hall. A gun was drawn which involved a high profile official of Mahikeng local municipality. The nonchalant attitude of the ruling party ANC towards this cancer called corruption is insulting to our struggle as a nation,” said provincial convener Dr. Thabo Bapela.
“The role of government is to protect the powerless and ensure the protection of their rights and well-being. The public service has collapsed and there is no intervention by the ANC led government. The systemic corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement by deployees of the ruling party undermines our freedom as the people and harms the poor the most.”
He urged communities not to destroy critical infrastructures such as schools and clinics but, to engaged in a peaceful demonstration and raised their concerns properly.
The ANC was expected to release a media statement after the meeting which was expected to run into deep into the night.
– African News Agency (ANA)