‘I’d rather be an entrepreneur’: Mahumapelo reluctant to go to Parliament

Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24
Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24

If he was allowed to make a personal choice, former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo would choose to not be deployed to Parliament by the ANC.

Mahumapelo said if he was not a “revolutionary” he would “want to be more of an entrepreneur”.

He is destined for Parliament, with his name sitting at 58 on the ANC’s national-to-national list.

Mahumapelo was removed as premier by the ANC last year before the end of his term and the provincial executive committee which he led was later disbanded.

While he maintains that he will always respect the ANC and the branches that have nominated him to the list, Mahumapelo said being in Parliament was something that he still needed time to consider.

Read: ‘Disrespectful, divisive’: Ace ‘tampering’ with North West list ‘will cost the ANC’

“My personal, deep, deep feeling is that I don’t want to go to Parliament … [but then] you think about the mandate of the branches [that nominated him] and what informed their decision. Some of the leaders within the ANC say: ‘We think you can still make a contribution in the organisation.’ And I say to them: ‘Comrades, but I don’t want to be a public representative.’ But they insist, motivate and ultimately convince you to consider it favourably,” he said.

People will have to account. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, you can’t run away forever.

“So I am still thinking deeply about [deployment to Parliament]. Remember, we’re not yet sworn in and one can still decide before being sworn in whether to go there or not … For me, if I were to be given a personal choice I would not chose to go to Parliament.”

He said he was still busy with his doctoral degree, but “in terms of my personal career, I would want to be more of an entrepreneur if I was given the opportunity”.

“But because I am a revolutionary, I participate in the struggle and because there is democracy within the ANC I will be elected at one point or another. I would know whether at some point I will be elected again into any position.”

Mahumapelo’s resignation led to the establishment of a interministerial task team led by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, which put five of the province’s departments under full administration of national government.

This was influenced by allegations of corruption, looting of state coffers and maladministration, some of which were being investigated by the Hawks under the watch of Mahumapelo as premier.

He said he was yet to be given a chance to answer to any of the allegations and said an impression was created that everything happened during his time in office.

He said he had written a letter to Dlamini-Zuma asking to meet with her so it could be explained to him what he did wrong so that he could formally respond.

You can remove me, but it does not mean that houses will spring up

Mahumapelo alleged that there were people who were not being questioned about the wrongs they had committed.

He said he had, in his letter, raised various issues, “also asking about issues I wrote about when I was premier, which I know were done wrongly … and those running government chose not to attend to”.

He cited 5 000 foundations or slabs that had been laid down by contractors and left unattended after the contractors had been paid to build houses.

“No action was taken against those people and as soon as I started taking action, there was an uproar. People are staying out there without houses … But when you look into the system of government it says houses were built.

“People will have to account. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, you can’t run away forever … Houses were meant to be built. You can remove me, but it does not mean that houses will spring up … My question is: Why are we not taking action against the contractors and those who gave the work to them, as well as the politicians who were responsible and were supposed to make sure there was oversight?”

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