Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The ANC has selected long-time administrator Job Mokgoro as its premier-elect in the North West while his predecessor, Supra Mahumapelo, remains party leader in the province.

Mokgoro was selected by the ANC’s national working committee after a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting earlier this week was unable to decide who should replace Mahumapelo.

Mokgoro will be sworn in at a sitting of the North West provincial legislature on Friday.

This means an ANC member of the provincial legislature will have to resign to make space for Mokgoro. It is unclear if Mahumapelo will be this person.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the caucus would be meeting on Friday before the swearing-in to make this decision.

Mokgoro is no stranger to the North West. He served there as the first director-general of the province after the 1994 elections. He was tasked with integrating three government administrations into one North West province.

From 1999-2003 he served as the director-general of the South African Management Development Institute. He has also played a role in the School of Governance in the North West Provincial Administration.

Mokgoro is seen as a neutral candidate for the position of North West premier.

Magashule said the ANC needed to ensure it selected someone who "could be welcomed by everybody". Mokgoro does not sit in any elected leadership structures of the ANC.

However, former premier Mahumapelo said Mokgoro would be invited to take part in the provincial executive committee and other structures as an ex-officio member.

The North West government was in shambles under Mahumapelo’s watch, with numerous allegations of corruption and maladministration. The national government has placed the province under administration and the security cluster is investigating allegations of graft and maladministration against Mahumapelo and members of his executive.

The South African Communist Party in the North West welcomed Mokgoro’s nomination and called on him to support the national intervention and help root out corruption and looting. "We believe that his nomination as premier should bring about administrative and executive stability in the province," it said.

The DA said it believed Mokgoro’s work would be hamstrung by ANC factionalism that was being led by Mahumapelo and that the former premier would still be running affairs.

EFF North West leader Betty Diale said her party rejected the nomination of Mokgoro, calling him a compromise candidate. As a former director-general of the province, Mokgoro was also party to the maladministration in the province, the EFF said.