Bakgatla Ba Kgafela calls for resignation of premier Mokgoro

13 October 2020 - 12:18
By Ernest Mabuza
North West premier Job Mokgoro says he will not respond to a call from the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela royal family to resign. File photo
Image: Thapelo Morebudi North West premier Job Mokgoro says he will not respond to a call from the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela royal family to resign. File photo

The Bakgatla Ba Kgafela royal family has written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, asking him to remove North West premier Job Mokgoro from office.

The tribe's chief, Nyalala John Pilane, had his certificate as chief withdrawn by Mokgoro in July.

Pilane went to court to review Mokgoro's decision to withdraw the recognition certificate. The effect of Pilane's application is that he remains chief, pending the review of Mokgoro's decision.

The royal family wrote a letter to the president after Mokgoro's appearance at the state capture inquiry on October 1.

Mokgoro appeared before the inquiry to deal with allegations of fraud and corruption relating to his role as then acting director-general in the office of then North West premier Supra Mahumapelo in 2015.

The royal family said Mokgoro is accused of having authorised payment of close to R50m to SA Express without any contract or competitive bidding process.

In his affidavit, Mokgoro said the airline project emanated from the North West state of the province address delivered by Mahumapelo in 2014.

Under cross-examination, Mokgoro admitted the address in 2014 did not include airport development plans. He also admitted he signed off the payment of R50m before a contract was signed.

Following his evidence, the DA in the North West said it would write to Hawks head
Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya to follow up on the criminal charges that were laid regarding irregularities which occurred with the SA Express contract while Mokgoro was acting DG in the office of the premier.

“These are serious allegations. His explanation to the inquiry was very evasive and unconvincing, to say the least, even trying to throw other officials under the bus,” the letter written by the family to the president read.

In the letter, the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela royal family representative Motsisi Pilane said if Mokgoro had unconstitutionally removed Chief Pilane, despite the fact that there was a judicial review of his decision to withdraw the certificate of recognition, the family demanded that Mokgoro resign as premier.

“Surely the allegations against him are damning and equally sufficient to warrant his resignation,” the representative said in the letter.

He said the family was convinced Mokgoro did not have the moral authority to continue as the premier.

“We therefore call upon you as the president of the Republic of South Africa to remove him from his position as premier of the province.”

Two similar letters were addressed to Mokgoro and to the ANC in the North West, with one letter calling on Mokgoro to resign of his own volition.  

Though the letters were written on October 2, the royal family has not received a response from the president, the ANC and Mokgoro, the family spokesperson Segale Pilane said.

“Government has chosen to remain silent on this matter,” he said.

Mokgoro's spokesperson Vuyisile Ngesi said on Tuesday the premier would not comment on the letter.

“We are not going to entertain that letter. We are not going to glorify that letter with a response,” Ngesi said.

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