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

President Cyril Ramaphosa supporters in the North West province are said to have submitted names of their preferred leaders to succeed former premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Sources in the province said Ramaphosa’s backers in the North West wanted either South African Communist Party provincial secretary Madoda Sambatha, provincial executive committee (PEC) member Mmoloki Cwaile or provincial chairman of the portfolio committee on environmental affairs Philemon Mapulane to be considered. The three are staunch supporters of Ramaphosa and have fallen out with Mahumapelo.

The initial trio submitted by the pro-Mahumapelo PEC, and rejected by the party’s national executive (NEC), were Rev OJ Tselapedi, Suzan Dantjie and Manketsi Tlhape.

It was reported that the PEC names were rejected by the NEC meeting, which ended late on Monday. The ANC is yet to brief the media about the outcomes of the weekend meeting.

According to the ANC constitution, the PEC must submit three names to the NEC, which then decides who is appointed.

Tselapedi is a former North West education MEC. He is a very controversial figure in North West politics and was once implicated in allegations of corruption in the department when he was MEC.

He has served the provincial government at various levels over many years. The former Umkhonto we Sizwe operative is now an ordinary member of the ANC from the Ngaka Modiri Molema region and a councillor at a Mahikeng municipality, where he serves on the municipal public accounts committee.

Dantjie, acting secretary of the ANC in the North West and the speaker of the provincial legislature, rose to prominence in Mahumapelo’s last days as premier, giving her boss political support. Dantjie was the former deputy secretary of the Bojanala region. She worked as a clerk at the provincial ANC office before becoming an MP from 2009 until 2014. She was a member of the portfolio committee on communications until 2014.

Tlhape, who was also turned down by the NEC, was the agriculture MEC in North West. A nurse by profession, she was also an activist who participated in several management and leadership structures of local government. In 2006, she was deployed by the ANC to serve as a mayor in Tswaing local municipality.

A strong Mahumapelo ally, she was later deployed to the Ngaka Modiri district municipality, where she served as a councillor until her deployment as a member of the executive council for the department of local government and traditional affairs in 2013.