North West deserves better than Supra

2018-04-29 06:05
A Mahikeng resident and a police officer outside the venue where demands that Supra Mahumapelo step down were debated PHOTO: Felix Dlangamandla

A Mahikeng resident and a police officer outside the venue where demands that Supra Mahumapelo step down were debated PHOTO: Felix Dlangamandla

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The crisis in North West should not be surprising to any ANC members or the voters in the province. This is the province of the late former Bophuthatswana Bantustan leader Lucas Mangope. He developed Bophuthatswana’s infrastructure to be the best of Bantustans, with the best education under the Bantustan system, but he was not ready to accept the new dispensation after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

This is the province where Afrikaner troopers under Eugene Terre’Blanche, the racist right wing leader, stormed the capital hoping to defend Mangope, with disastrous consequences and unnecessary deaths for some of them. Terre’Blanche and his colleagues wanted to keep Mangope in power at all costs, to ward off the supposed communists.

It is the province where Rocky Malebane-Metsing organised a coup against Mangope without much success; the province which was under former United Democratic Front secretary-general Popo Molefe until he was pressured to vacate the premier’s office; the province formerly led by national council of provinces chairperson Thandi Modise ... and lastly the province of Supra Mahumapelo, who has broken all ethical rules.

Mahumapelo introduced unprecedented systemic corruption in all sectors of the province’s economy. As part of the Zuma/Gupta machinery, the Guptas had free reign in the province. The classic case is that of Mediosa, a Gupta-controlled healthcare company given a tender to provide medical services without following the due process, and handed R30m in advance before doing any work. This is the province that hosted the Guptas’ wedding at Sun City.

It is a province of dire poverty, high unemployment, with an unmaintained and dilapidated infrastructure. Mahumapelo, a relic from the slate elected at the ANC conference at Mangaung in 2012 through the current method of branch delegate nominations, represents the worst in the ANC’s provincial leadership.

The province has been in flames recently, with looting of shops and factories. Public sector union Nehawu has been on strike, leaving hospitals unmanned and resulting in families having to collect untreated relatives from hospitals. This acute crisis for patients has only been held at bay thanks to the intervention of the army’s medical team, who have been deployed at state hospitals.

We hope this is the worst that can be experienced.

Can President Cyril Ramaphosa and his team solve the current crisis, short of asking Mahumapelo and his officials to resign? Can Mahumapelo change from being a deployee of the Zuma/Gupta machinery to becoming a servant of the people? Can he be sanitised? Many believe the man and his team are incorrigible, and that they must be removed from office if the ANC is to hope for re-election in North West in next year’s general elections.

Ramaphosa cannot afford to take the province’s voters for granted and hope they will vote for known kleptomaniacs because they are dressed in ANC robes.

All state and government institutions are in tatters in the province. Except for the new statue of former president Jacob Zuma in Groot Marico, which Mahumapelo built, there is nothing new there except looting and more looting. It was unveiled in October last year – two months before his chosen candidate to succeed him, his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was defeated at the ANC’s elective conference in Johannesburg. Zuma brought no water to the taps in Groot Marico, only a monument to himself.

Was he joking or humiliating the residents when he told them: “The building and maintenance of the heritage site has a greater potential to stimulate economic activity and create much-needed jobs in the communities of Groot Marico, Bahurutshe village, Zeerust as well as surrounding areas in this province. It will also contribute towards cultural tourism both domestically and internationally.”

A water supply crisis in Madibeng, crisis of unstaffed hospitals with untreated patients being sent home, dilapidated infrastructure, the list is endless. Mahumapelo must go and follow Zuma into retirement.

Comrade Ramaphosa, ANC members across the country are urgently saying to you: As a minimum, South Africa needs leaders who meet the requirements of the anti-corruption policy document Through the Eye of a Needle. Deploy the best you have. Remember, there are only 12 months before the general elections.

- Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC

Read more on:    anc  |  supra mahumapelo  |  politics

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