Still no decision on Mahumapelo successor

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JOHANNESBURG, May 29 – The three-day African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) meeting was unable to select a successor to former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, opting to consult further before naming anyone to take over in the troubled province.

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said three days was not enough to sort out organizational matters and that the governing party’s top brass opted for a special NEC to attend to problematic provinces such as the North West and KwaZulu-Natal.

“A [planned] special NEC will give us more time to deal with all matters and organizational reports from our NEC deployees in provinces, especially in the North West. We want to ensure that when we engage, we come up with solutions and resolve matters once and for all. We felt that we needed more time to further engage…you do not rush to come up with solutions,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

The three suggested candidates forwarded by the North West provincial executive committee was not adequately discussed due to lack of time, he added.

Media reports suggested the three candidates were former education member of the executive council (MEC) O.J Tselapedi, agriculture MEC Manketsi Tlhape and acting ANC provincial secretary general, Susan Dantjie.

However, the NEC rejected the three who are allies of the former premier. The appointment of either one of them would be seen as an installation of a Mahumapelo proxy.

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 him to resign over allegations of corruption. The widespread protests shut down the province’s capital Mahikeng, where shops were looted and properties damaged.

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Before he threw in the towel, Mahumapelo rescinded his resignation and then chaired a provincial executive meeting to decide his fate.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.

– African News Agency (ANA)