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

2018-04-26 09:17
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo spotted after President Cyril Ramaphosa briefed media on the outcome of an ANC North West meeting. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo spotted after President Cyril Ramaphosa briefed media on the outcome of an ANC North West meeting. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

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Revolutionary Council gives Ramaphosa ultimatum to remove Mahumapelo

2018-04-25 09:35

The Revolutionary Council has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for failing to urgently end the crisis in the North West province. Watch. WATCH

Members of the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC) are expected to once again descend on the troubled and violent North West province.

On Thursday, the NWC is expected to face the ire of party members and residents impatient with its indecision on Premier Supra Mahumapelo's fate.

Mahumapelo is facing the strongest revolt ever against an ANC leader, with the province gripped by violent protests by residents calling for his removal.

The rioting has seen shops shut down in several towns across the province, with schooling and health services in some parts grinding to a halt.

WATCH: Revolutionary Council gives Ramaphosa ultimatum to remove Mahumapelo

Pressure for Mahumapelo to go has now shifted to President Cyril Ramaphosa. A group calling itself the "Revolutionary Council" gave Ramaphosa a Wednesday deadline to fire Mahumapelo, or face an indefinite shut-down of the province.

Ramaphosa visited the province a week ago after cutting short his visit to London. This was when protests were limited to the capital, Mahikeng. They have since spread.

Pamphlets and posters were being distributed on Wednesday rallying members for what they call "The Final Push! Total N-W province shutdown until #Supramustfall."

However, senior ANC members have said the decision around Mahumapelo could only be taken by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Two NEC members said an urgent committee meeting can only be scheduled after the NWC, which deals with the day-to-day running of the party, holds its own one next week.

'Some branches are being sidelined'

"The NWC is meeting next Wednesday in Cape Town. We are now simply visiting the regions," an NWC member told News24.

"It’s amazing how people suddenly don’t know how the ANC takes decisions. The president, and also [the] NWC, has no powers to appoint or fire a premier."

Mahumapelo has divided the province and national leaders, with some accusing the party's secretary general, Ace Magashule, of deploying those sympathetic to Mahumapelo to the North West.

The NWC member specifically claimed that Magashule deployed of NWC members seen to be critical of Mahumapelo" to meet with branches in another troubled ANC province, the Free State.

The list comprising of NWC members and NEC deployees sent to North West includes Bathabile Dlamini, Meokgo Matuba, Snuki Zikalala, Tony Yengeni, Obed Bapela, Senzo Mchunu, Barbara Creecy,  Violet Siwela, Derek Hanekom, Sylvia Lucas, Nkenke Kekana, Malusi Gigaba and Magashule.

Former leaders in the North West including Collen Maine and Thandi Modise are part of those deployed to the Free State. 

ALSO READ: 'Why don't they just remove Supra?' - North West residents

The NWC members going to the Free State will assess if they should go to a provincial elective conference ahead of the 2019 elections.

"Some of us as NWC members were not told of [the] visit to the North West province – we just hear there is a meeting.

"Going to KZN, we were told in time about the visit. But with North West, even some branches are being sidelined, as some were not being told about the meetings on Thursday," the member, who is also part of the NEC, said.

ANC members in the North West have also complained that they have not been told where and when the meetings were happening, while others have said they received the details late, and venues for the meetings were far-flung and inaccessible. 

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

'We want to hear it's the end of Mahumapelo'

"An ample [sic] of parallel Branch Executive Committees which are pro North West Provincial Executive Committee have been communicated with and ferried to the venue, a venue choice reflects nothing but gross gatekeeping, factionalism and self-serving agenda by the embattled PEC," the message read.

PEC member Mmoloki Cwaile, who is openly calling for Mahumapelo to go, confirmed that there was no proper communication issued on the meetings. He warned that the NWC must not consult executives of what he called "bogus branches".

He warned that the party must not only meet with ANC members, but extend the engagement to ordinary residents, or it risked becoming irrelevant ahead of the all-important 2019 elections.

"The ANC will just be doing an exercise of listening…to itself if it leaves out the people. The ANC, over and above itself, is leading society and it must show it has understood the messages from the masses on the ground," Cwaile said.

ALSO READ: ANC NW regional leaders aligned to Mahumapelo come to his defence

"It will lose relevancy on account of ignoring the view of that person the ANC is supposed to be representing. It can’t represent itself and say it is the view of the ANC not to remove the premier – it would be wrong," he said.

The calls for Mahumapelo to go are supported by the alliance partners, Sanco and the SACP.

"There is no need to caucus over this issue. We know what the issues are, and when the NWC comes we just want to hear of a decision. We want to hear that it’s the end of Mahumapelo," Sanco’s Pakete Seaketso said.

Those supporting the embattled premier have argued that the campaign is a "well thought out programme", targeting certain provinces and senior ANC leaders who are viewed as being too powerful, and pro-radical economic transformation.

They have argued that instead of taking to the streets, ANC members must contest Mahumapelo at a provincial congress next year.

Read more on:    anc  |  supra mahumapelo  |  mahikeng  |  protest action

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