Cyril Ramaphosa makes his move on defiant Supra Mahumapelo
President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken control of North West, the first time the national government has taken over an entire provincial administration.
At the same time, two-thirds of the province’s municipalities are being taken over by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
The moves are a dramatic intervention by Ramaphosa against North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, who reneged on a public undertaking to step down this week and instead took a leave of absence without presidential approval.
Ramaphosa has written to the National Council of Provinces, informing it that he is placing the entire North West government under the control of the national executive in terms of section 100 (1) of the constitution.
Senior ANC and government sources said Ramaphosa took the decision on Wednesday after the cabinet was briefed by an interministerial committee on the troubled province.
The task team to North West was led by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. It was sent after weeks of violent protests against Mahumapelo’s rule and allegations that he was using the provincial government as a personal piggy bank.
Parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo on Friday confirmed to the Sunday Times that NCOP chairwoman Thandi Modise had received Ramaphosa’s letter saying North West would be put under national control for 180 days in terms of the section 100 (1) of the constitution.
“We can indeed confirm that the office of the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces has received a communication from the president notifying the house of cabinet’s decision to invoke section 100 (1) of the constitution to address challenges facing the North West province,” said Mothapo.