Ramaphosa steps in to broker peace in North West as defiant Mahumapelo clings to power

2019-02-18 18:02
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Thohoyandou stadium during the ANC rally. (Tebogo Letsie/City Press)

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Thohoyandou stadium during the ANC rally. (Tebogo Letsie/City Press)

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has taken it upon himself to help bring about unity and stability in the embattled North West province.

ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete confirmed that Ramaphosa would be part of a rapid response team (RTT), established two weeks ago, which includes national executive committee (NEC) members Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Sdumo Dlamini and Jessie Duarte.

"He is the chief custodian of the constitution of the ANC and conference resolutions, the resolution of unity and renewal programme of the ANC," Legoete told News24.

He said the North West ANC was one of the party's problem areas and that Ramaphosa would be able to use his experience as a skilled negotiator and mediator to assist to bring about stability.

'It was like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in there'

The ANC's NEC has been holding a special meeting and election workshop over the past two days. The meeting was held to discuss its candidate lists for the National Assembly and provincial legislatures but it also focused on developments in the platinum-rich province.

"It was like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in there," said one NEC member, who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity.

"He (Ramaphosa) stood up on his own in the meeting, volunteering to form part of the team negotiating to resolve the tension", continued the source.

The party insider said it was the best approach to deal with the protracted battle between ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, his provincial executive committee (PEC) and the NEC.

READ: ANC NEC to decide the fate of the North West's executive committee, task team

The party's highest decision-making structure in between conferences also instructed warring groups in the North West to work together.

Mahumapelo was stripped of his powers by the NEC in August last year. A provincial task team (PTT) was appointed to run the organisation in the province in the interim.

However, he approached the Gauteng High Court to challenge both NEC decisions to remove him and to form a PTT. The court ruled in his favour.

Later, he went back to the court after an order for him to return to work within two days was disregarded. The court granted an enforcement order in terms of which he had to be reinstated urgently.

The ANC announced last week that it was appealing both judgments.

An NEC member told News24 that there was some confusion when the secretary general's office delivered a report on the issue on Sunday. Some members argued that the embattled chairperson should be allowed back while others insisted that with an appeal under way, the order for Mahumapelo to return to his office should be suspended.

PEC and PTT instructed to work together

Legoete said the provincial task team and the PEC must work together towards finding solutions.

Mahumapelo's hopes of returning to office soon were dashed however, after the NEC decided to collapse both the PEC and the PTT. The party has opted to instead establish a provincial elections team which will take over getting the province ready for the elections.

"We are not asking, we are instructing them. We have an NEC decision that both will be engaged by the rapid respond team and while the political solutions engagement continues the provincial election team will take over the process of preparing for the elections," said Legoete.

The NEC has also asked all its party members in the North West to reach out to communities and campaign ahead of the looming polls.

Legoete said the peace talks would develop some sort of structure for a new PTT once a solution has been found.

The secretary general's office was also asked to include the appeals process in its report and to present it again on Monday.

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Read more on:    anc  |  supra mahumapelo  |  cyril ramapahosa  |  mahikeng  |  politics

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