Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, whose party membership was suspended for five years this week, on Thursday said the ANC’s decision to suspend him was influenced by “hatred”.
He said his fate was sealed in a disciplinary hearing in which he was neither present nor represented.
Mahumapelo said he would appeal the decision taken on Freedom Day, a day after his representatives told the disciplinary committee (DC) that he would not be available on Tuesday.
His co-accused, acting secretary of the provincial ANC Women’s League, Bitsa Lenkopane, was also not available on the day.
Mahumapelo said his representative had tried to plead with the DC on Monday and suggested three days on which the hearing could be held to allow him to brief his representatives. But this was rejected, along with a request for their representatives to meet with the party officials so they could iron out technical and other issues.
Mahumapelo said he was now looking to the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) to handle his appeal.
The sentence meant he would cease to be a member of Parliament but he said the “status quo” would remain until the outcome of the appeal.
Addressing his supporters in Mahikeng in the North West on Thursday, the former provincial ANC chairperson and secretary said the DC arrived at the verdict before he was furnished with their charges.
“I am still waiting for the charges and while waiting for them, my membership is suspended for five years. The media must note that I speak here about the extent to which I am hated [by the people who] use their positions in the interim provincial committee (IPC) in the North West] to unleash their hatred on me,” Mahumapelo said.
“It is hatred … not all these things that I lack discipline. The IPC and its DC, I believe, know and hold a strong view that their decision is based on hatred, reputation damage, factionalism and an attempt to instil fear in me.”
He said he only heard about the outcome of the hearing from the media and had not yet received the letter.
Mahumapelo was charged for attending and addressing an ANC Women’s League gathering in Mareetsane village in the Ratlou Local Municipality where he said he was invited as part of a door-to-door campaign during by-elections.
“This is nothing else but [an attempt] to bury me politically, and under no circumstances shall I leave this unattended. Details of this will be provided to the NDC as part of the appeal process,” he said.
Mahumapelo said he was found guilty before he could plead.
“In court or in a disciplinary hearing, you need to plead guilty or not guilty. In that disciplinary hearing we did not reach that stage.”
He said the committee had also failed to produce proof the party secretary-general, Ace Magashule had approved the disciplinary hearing. Mahumapelo claimed the DC members also refused to recuse themselves despite some of them having been involved in campaigns to bring him down.
Popularly known as “Black Jesus”, on Thursday Mahumapelo said: “I don’t like that nickname … I have said it conference after the conference but the name sticks. Some of the comrades actually believe I am too soft,” he said.
“They believe I don’t use the power of either being the provincial secretary or chairperson to deal with people who are doing bad things in the ANC.
“I believe in engaging [people]. I said to them, no, if you are in a leadership position you don’t rush into decisions [but] they then gave me the nickname [anyway] saying I always forgive … so you know today where the name comes from.”