Mahumapelo draws battle lines, accuses Ramaphosa supporters of being on a witchhunt

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo (Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images)
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo (Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images)

North West premier and ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo is going nowhere and will instead seek to "clean up" the province of those seeking to divide the ANC.

"I am relaxed," is what Mahumapelo told supporters several times outside the Embassy Hall in Mahikeng, North West on Wednesday.

He told those calling for him to not resign that he would remain at the helm of the province, but did not hesitate to hit out at his detractors in the North West and the governing party.

"It is not the ANC that causes us difficulties. It is individuals that are in the ANC," said Mahumapelo to loud cheers.

READ: North West ANC PEC refused to let Mahumapelo resign

He explained that the challenges and difficulties he had experienced recently were because he was trying to turn the economy of the province around and to address corruption.

"There are people going around making noise about me and I've been keeping quiet. They are on social media, television, newspapers... Making a lot of noise and I just keep quiet," he said.

'Aggressive legal action'

Mahumapelo announced that he would take "aggressive legal action" against those making claims against him.

The North West has been rocked by numerous allegations of corruption and maladministration. Specialised policing unit the Hawks raided the premier's his office and the province's health system reached a complete breakdown as members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) embarked on a strike more than two months ago.

Mahumapelo said he would start by dealing with the Revolutionary Council "legally", blaming them for being some of the individuals behind the violent protests and destruction of property around parts of the platinum-rich province.

"They make spurious, unfounded and concocted allegations and based on those allegations, one must then be removed from the organisation," Mahumapelo said.

While Mahumapelo addressed his supporters on the outcomes of the provincial executive committee, they shouted the names of people believed to be attempting to push Mahumapelo from both his key roles in the North West as premier as well as the ANC's provincial chair. Some of those mentioned included former and current provincial leaders.

He also asked that the ANC investigate the real people behind the recent violent protests.

In addressing a pending motion of no confidence in him, which was brought forward by the EFF in the legislature, Mahumapelo said it was clear some in the ANC, including the PEC, were working with the opposition to divide the 106-year-old liberation movement.

The ANC chair, who often speaks of himself in the third person, questioned why the SA Communist Party and civic organisation Sanco did not celebrate when the motion of no confidence was dropped from the legislature's agenda.

"Why are they intensifying the assault on Mahumapelo," he asked.

He received loud cheers and applause when he called out former president Jacob Zuma's name as he told supporters that the day after his birthday in June, Zuma would appear before the Durban High Court and that they should all go and support him.

Although he did not chastise Ramaphosa, he claimed people around the president wanted to punish those who did not support his bid to become president of the ANC at the party's watershed conference.

"There are people there who are not supporting what he's saying," said Mahumapelo.

"They say cause they won at Nasrec everyone who did not support them must go," continued the ANC provincial chair.

"The problem is his people who want to use violence, anger and vulnerability."

The chair is set to be placed on special leave while the inter-ministerial committee completes its investigation into the state of the province.

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