Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

Premier Supra Mahumapelo is to step down on Wednesday morning and the North West administration will be placed under administration by the national government.

Mahumapelo is expected to announce his decision at a media conference at 10am following his meeting with ANC officials on Monday, when he was told to resign or risk being fired. According to sources, the ANC officials including secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jessie Duarte, were united in calling for Mahumapelo’s resignation.

“Ace and Jessie were among the strongest voices for him to go at the high-level meeting,” said a provincial source who is close to Mahumapelo.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the premier’s supporters were disappointed no one had come to Mahumapelo’s defence.

But Mahumapelo’s resignation will not be the end of the story, as the national government is expected to wrest control of the North West.

Another source said the news briefing would be held because it had been communicated to Mahumapelo to resign or face ANC MPLs at the provincial legislature, meaning he would lose his benefits.

Cabinet is meeting on Wednesday and North West sources close to Mahumapelo said President Cyril Ramaphosa’s executive was set to receive a recommendation from Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that the North West be placed under administration in terms of section 100 of the Constitution. The section empowers the national government to intervene where a provincial government fails to discharge its obligations.

In April, Ramaphosa appointed Dlamini-Zuma to lead an interministerial task team to look at complaints by protesting residents who were demanding that Mahumapelo be fired for corruption and a lack of service delivery.

The North West health department was recently placed under administration. Dlamini-Zuma’s team is expected to present a report to the Cabinet that paints a picture of a collapsed government under Mahumapelo, with no accountability on taxpayers’ money.

The North West is the second province to be placed under administration after Limpopo in 2011. But Limpopo was rehabilitated after Stan Mathabatha was appointed premier.

Cabinet spokeswoman Phumla Williams confirmed that there would be a meeting of the executive on Wednesday but said its agenda could not be discussed in the media.

Other sources in the province claimed Mahumapelo would tender his resignation after his fightback plan failed.

A source in the provincial legislature privy to information said: “Our plan was to have him give the speaker a letter where he asks to step aside while allegations against him are investigated. In the same letter he will then appoint an acting premier.
“This was rejected by the ANC in Johannesburg.”

Mahumapelo delivered his budget speech on Tuesday.