The ANC in the North West has confirmed that former premier and ANC provincial spokesperson Supra Mahumapelo has decided to withdraw from the provincial task team (PTT).
The PTT was formed last month following a national executive committee decision to disband Mahumapelo's provincial executive committee (PEC). Although he was initially not meant to be part of the task team, the ANC's national working committee included him in the structure meant to take the platinum-rich province to the national elections in 2019.
Mahumapelo's fall from grace was characterised by violent protests throughout his province earlier this year, with ANC supporters and members of the community demonstrating under the hashtag "SupraMustFall".
His government was also linked to numerous claims of corruption, some involving the controversial Gupta family which is accused of using its close relationship with former president Jacob Zuma to loot state coffers. President Cyril Ramaphosa also put Mahumapelo's government under administration.
In a letter sent by Mahumapelo to ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, the former provincial chair complains that the dissolution of his PEC was "nothing else but a purge" and went against the spirit of the ANC of unity and renewal. The letter was sent to News24 by the North West PTT spokesperson Kabelo Mataboge.
"There is a group within the NEC and the province which started working on this 'project dissolve' just before and after Nasrec," wrote Mahumapelo, referring to the watershed ANC national conference, which took place in December 2017.
Mahumapelo said he felt the branches of the ANC, seen as the basic unit of the liberation movement, were undermined by the NEC, relegating branches which elected him to the periphery.
Referring to those who wanted him ousted as a "mob", he said they have been catapulted and clothed as a PTT.
"When they have done so much damage to the ANC, I can't be part of this," concluded Mahumapelo of the newly established task team.
Mataboge told News24 the leadership collective was not worrying as Mahumapelo remained a committed member of the ANC.
"Obviously we would have liked for him to participate but he has made a personal decision not to," said Mataboge.
Some in the province have rejected the decision by the PTT to disband Mahumapelo's executive, even threatening to challenge the matter in court, but Mataboge insists aggrieved members can still be engaged.
"Not everyone will agree with decisions that are taken but what’s important is to engage with any member at any given stage and find a common approach," he told News24.
"We have opened our doors and are willing to engage with any other member of the ANC," he added.