North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has proved to be a consummate political survivor. But Mahumapelo’s association with, and mimicking of, the politics of former president Jacob Zuma may prove to be his undoing. The leadership of the ANC in the North West under Mahumapelo, which backed Thabo Mbeki, was disbanded by the Zuma administration in 2009, when Mahumapelo was the provincial secretary. In 2011, Mahumapelo was elected provincial chairman and became premier in 2014. Since then, his political influence — for a leader at the helm of one of the ANC’s numerically smaller provinces — rose dramatically. It was his candidate, Des van Rooyen, who was selected by Zuma and the Gupta family in their brazen attempt at a heist of the National Treasury at the end of 2015.Then, it was Mahumapelo who moved to ensure disgraced former Eskom boss Brian Molefe became an MP. Molefe’s name was put forward by the North West, but it later emerged that he, in fact, was a branch member of the ANC in Cen...

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