Former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL
Former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

The disbanded ANC North West provincial executive committee (PEC) and its chair, Supra Mahumapelo, must be reinstated pending the outcome of an appeal by the party, the high court in Johannesburg ordered on Wednesday.

Last week, judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane found that the decision to disband the PEC was "procedurally unfair" and breached the ANC’s constitution, as well as the constitutional rights of the applicants. She found that the decision was unlawful and set it aside.

The decision to appoint a provincial task team was also declared unlawful and set aside.

Mahumapelo and four others approached the court this week to have the order implemented even though the ANC was appealing against the judgment. 

Mahumapelo's lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said the ANC had lodged an application to appeal against last week's judgment, which suspended the order, but that Wednesday's order reaffirmed that the PEC be reinstated notwithstanding the appeal.

It was not clear when the appeal would be heard. 

Mahumapelo, the former North West premier, was removed as provincial leader after violent protests over service delivery shut hospitals across the province in the first half of 2018. He is a close ally of Jacob Zuma.

He was also part of the group that held a meeting with Zuma at the Maharani Hotel in Durban in September 2018, where a plot to unseat Ramaphosa was allegedly discussed.

Following last week's judgment, the ANC said it was sending a rapid response team, set up by the national executive committee (NEC), to the North West to meet with the provincial task team (PTT) and the reinstated PEC to discuss the implications of the judgment and the unity of the organisation.

The term of the disbanded PEC came to an end on Wednesday.

Acting ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party has already filed its appeal papers for last week's judgment, and will be be appealing Wednesday's order as well.

"The term of the disbanded PEC comes to an end today therefore to reinstate the PEC in terms of constitution cannot be practical. We are therefore also appealing this decision," he said.

Kodwa said the ANC had met the disbanded PEC and the PTT last week Sunday to try find a "political solution" in the North West. 

"We asked both groups to go back to talk to one another and come with a workable solution."

He said there was a discussion about a "10-a-side" — 10 members from the disbanded PEC and 10 from the PTT.

The ANC will be meeting with the different groups again on Thursday to listen to their proposals, Kodwa said. 

"Our interest is that this issue must be resolved politically but however we have a duty as the NEC to defend the constitution of the ANC," he said. 

Kodwa said the aim was to find a solution which united the ANC in the North West.