North West protests: Some ANC members feel left in the cold in talks to end unrest

2018-04-26 17:38
The North West has been in the grips of protest action with calls for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down. (Supplied)

The North West has been in the grips of protest action with calls for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down. (Supplied)

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The African National Congress is holding talks to end the political impasse and violence that has gripped the North West province over the last two weeks over calls to remove Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

The party's national working committee (NWC) and national executive committee (NEC) are meeting with ANC structures across the province. 

ANC regional executive committee spokesperson in Mahikeng Thabo Matlhoko, said they hoped calm would be restored to the province after the talks. 

READ: Rage, more protest threats as NWC prepares to face off with North West ANC members again

"We want to find out the gist of the problem. As the ANC, we are planning to bring total calm and order to the province."

Matlhoko was speaking at the Onkgopotse Tiro School, about 30km outside Mahikeng, where various party structures were meeting on Thursday.

Matlhoko said they would meet with the community and members of the ANC to resolve the issues.

"There are processes of investigation that are under way and the public must allow it to take its course," Matlhoko said. 

No communication

ANC members in the North West, however, complained that they had not been told where and when the meetings were happening. Others said details had been sent to them very late and that venues for the meetings were in far-flung areas and inaccessible. 

In a message seen by News24, one local ANC member complained that those supporting Mahumapelo were being ferried to the venues.

"[Ample] parallel branch executive committees, which are pro-North West provincial executive committee (PEC), have been communicated with and ferried to the venue. Venue choice reflects nothing but gross gatekeeping, factionalism and self-serving agenda by the embattled PEC," the message read.

Calls for calm

Over the last two weeks, the province has been gripped by violent protests aimed at ousting Mahumapelo. 

Several shops were looted, infrastructure was set alight and damaged, and schooling and health services ground to a halt in some parts of the province.

On Wednesday, there were reports that ambulances had been denied entrance to the Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, which led to a patient's death.

READ: Cabinet places North West health dept under administration

Provincial Department of Health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane confirmed that a patient died at the hospital.

On Thursday, national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole, called for peace in the province.

Sitole said, since the outbreak of violence, he had called for additional deployments of various disciplines of the SAPS to be brought in so that affected areas could be stabilised and normalised.

A group calling itself the "Revolutionary Council" had given President Cyril Ramaphosa until Wednesday, April 25, to fire Mahumapelo, or face an indefinite shutdown of the province.

Senior members within the ANC said a decision on Mahumapelo's future could only be taken by the NEC.

Read more on:    supra mahumapelo  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  mahikeng  |  service delivery  |  protests

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