Supra survives‚ but ANC looking into calls for him to go

20 April 2018 - 21:31 By Aphiwe Deklerk
The streets of Mahikeng were littered with the remains of violent protests this week.
The streets of Mahikeng were littered with the remains of violent protests this week.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

President Cyril Ramaphosa has not sacked North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo‚ despite a two-day violent protest calling for his head.

Although he acknowledged that allegations against Mahumapelo were at the heart of the ongoing protests‚ Ramaphosa told a media briefing on Friday night that‚ following a meeting of the ANC national leadership with Mahumapelo and his provincial counterparts‚ the ANC would do further consultations on calls for the premier’s dismissal.

Ramaphosa had cut short a trip to the UK‚ where he addressed leaders and governments of Commonwealth states.

“What brought me back from London was the concern that I had when we started receiving reports about unrest that was unfolding here. The burning and torching of buildings‚ looting that had started happening here and the protests that were underway‚” he said.

He said he felt he needed to be present in North West along with his fellow ANC leaders.

Ramaphosa said he and his deputy‚ David Mabuza‚ had also wanted to hear about matters that affected governance in the province.

He said ANC members and the party’s North West caucus had given a full briefing on the challenges in the province. It was also decided that they would like to engage a number of other people‚ particularly community members.

“The issues that are being raised have to do with the position of the premier‚ they have to do with governance‚ they have to do with issues of corruption in the province - and we decided that these are matters that are serious enough‚” said Ramaphosa.

He said Mahumapelo’s fate would only be decided after these further consultations.

A hardware and a liquor store were looted in Stateng, Mahikeng, on April 20 2018 during protests calling for North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down.

“These matters‚ clearly‚ will be discussed in government‚ they will also be discussed at the governing party level‚ the ANC … and we are going to do this on a speedy basis‚ dissect all the issues we have been told‚ analyse them and be able to come to a rational decision‚” said Ramaphosa.

He said the party wanted to base its decision on evidence and proper analysis.

“Now, there may be a concern out there that we are going to take forever. I want to assure everyone that we are going to act speedily on this matter. We are not able to give the exact timeframe now but we are going to act as speedily as possible to address each of the issues that have been raised with us‚” he said.

Ramaphosa later urged residents to be calm and not engage in violent protests.

“This matter is going to be resolved. It is only when we are calm and we discuss matters in an orderly manner that we are able to find sustainable and durable solutions‚” he said.