Violence spreads in North West as residents demand that Supra Mahumapelo goes

2018-04-23 17:18
Violence is reportedly spreading to other towns of the North West with residents demanding that Premier Supra Mahumapelo step down. (Supplied)

Violence is reportedly spreading to other towns of the North West with residents demanding that Premier Supra Mahumapelo step down. (Supplied)

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Violent protests, calling for embattled North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to go, have spread to at least three other towns in the province.

Police have confirmed that rioting has led to the total shutdown of the small town of Delareyville, while in Taung, protesters have barricaded the roads with rocks and burning tyres. There were also protests in Vryburg on Sunday.

This follows violent protests in Mahikeng on Wednesday after a vote of no confidence in Mahumapelo was postponed. This was due to the Economic Freedom Fighters going to court to demand that the vote be held via secret ballot "to protect" ANC members who wanted to oust him.

READ: North West chaos shows the ANC is nowhere near unity

North West police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said several shops in Taung had been looted. Police officers had also been sent to Delareyville to assess the situation, he added. 

On Monday, Mahikeng was said to be calm, but tense, as the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) met to discuss Mahumapelo’s fate.

The NWC meeting is presently underway.

President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short his London trip to meet with party structures on Friday.  

However, a NWC member said the body could only make recommendations, which would then have to be endorsed by the national executive committee (NEC), which is the highest decision-making body between conferences. 

Mahumapelo’s detractors are demanding that the party recall him with immediate effect, with some threatening a complete shutdown of the province if he is not out by Wednesday. 

'Businesses are closed; it’s a total shutdown'

"There is an ultimatum to the ANC to decide. This issue has been around for months now," said an ANC member behind the push for Mahumapelo to go. 

The latest violence in Atamelang, north of Delareyville, was apparently sparked by Mahumapelo’s visit to his home village over the weekend.

Pictures sent to News24 show tyres set alight in the street. 

Protests in Atamelang, a township north of Delareyville. (Supplied)

Protests in Atamelang, a township north of Delareyville. (Supplied)

A prominent trade unionist told News24 that, earlier in the day, residents had attempted to burn down the home of Mayor Dimakatso Malwane.

"Businesses are closed; it’s a total shut down," he said.  

He said the latest violence was sparked by Mahumapelo allegedly claiming that "things were back to normal".  

Mahumapelo is under pressure from various sources within the ANC and its alliance partners Cosatu, SACP and Sanco. They have linked him to various corruption scandals in the province. 

A defiant Mahumapelo has claimed that his detractors are "cowards" hiding behind the EFF motion.


Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  supra mahumapelo  |  mahikeng  |  politics

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