Supra Mahumapelo takes leave of absence, appoints acting premier

Wendy Nelson. Picture: Supplied
Wendy Nelson. Picture: Supplied

North West finance MEC Wendy Nelson will act as premier with immediate effect as Supra Mahumapelo said begins his leave of absence.

Mahumapelo told City Press he signed Nelson’s letter of appointment “this afternoon”.

He said Luthuli House has also said he should “put the resignation in abeyance so that there could be proper political engagement and consultation”.

Mahumapelo said the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) said to him on Wednesday: “You did not deploy yourself; don’t resign, we will engage national (ANC) in the meantime.”

When asked how long he will be on leave, Mahumapelo said it will depend on the outcome of the discussion with the ANC national office.

The ANC in the province said Mahumapelo’s leave will enable them to consult Luthuli House on his future as both Premier and provincial party chairperson.

The PEC decided earlier on Wednesday that Mahumapelo should stay on as Premier after withdrawing their statement issued on Tuesday night in which they welcomed his voluntary resignation.

Acting provincial secretary of the ANC, Susan Dantjie, said Mahumapelo was also instructed to withdraw his “resignation comments”.

He was quoted in media reports on Tuesday saying he was packing his bags and leaving.

City Press learnt later on Tuesday evening that Mahumapelo had resigned, which was followed by a statement from the ANC in the province welcoming his resignation.

This, the party said, was a mistake which was corrected after an urgent PEC meeting on Wednesday. “(Mahumapelo) was instructed to withdraw his resignation comments ... he commented without even informing the party,” Dantjie said, adding that there was no resign for Mahumapelo to resign now because “he did not appoint himself (but) was deployed by the ANC”.

Dantjie has also denied that Mahumapelo was forced to resign by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“President Ramaphosa never at any stage called the Premier and said he must resign,” she said.

Dantjie said Mahumapelo told the PEC his decision to resign was based on reasons that “it cannot be that there are some losses of life, and the Revolutionary Council and other people are blaming him, forgetting there was a strike by the civil servants. If there are no medicines in hospital, losing lives can’t be avoided”.

“As a disciplined member of the ANC (Mahumapelo) was doing that for the organisation,” she said.

Dantjie said Mahumapelo will also go on leave to allow the inter-ministerial committee, led by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to do its work in the province.


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