Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: SUPPLIED

Deposed premier of the ANC in the North West, Supra Mahumapelo, has made an early comeback to the province’s politics, as part of the task team to lead it into the 2019 election.

The task team is to focus on the "transition period" until new leaders for the province are elected. It will also oversee preparations for the election.

Mahumapelo was removed as North West premier in May after protests against him, mostly by ANC members in the province. The provincial executive committee, which he chairs, was dissolved in August.

On Thursday ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule announced a 32-member mixed bag of the warring factions in the province, which included Mahumapelo. Magashule admitted that the ANC was worried about the party’s possible poor showing in the province in 2019. This prompted it to "bring together" the warring factions ahead of the polls, he said. The ANC posted heavy losses in the 2016 local government election, when its support dropped to 59%, from a high of 75% in the 2011 local government election.

Business Day understands there are concerns over Mahumapelo’s inclusion in the ANC task team.

The team includes his key ally in the province, Susan Dantjie, but also allies of President Cyril Ramaphosa, such as Philly Mapulane and Mahumapelo critic China Dodovu.

There are also concerns that all except one of the eight national executive committee members assigned to oversee the work of the task team are linked to the Jacob Zuma-Magashule-Mahumapelo faction. The three have been linked to a plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa, according to a Sunday Times report.

This week at the Cosatu congress Ramaphosa took a hardline stance against those involved in the plot, describing them as "counterrevolutionary", saying their machinations were intended to weaken the ANC.

Ramaphosa questioned the agenda of these alleged plotters, as Magashule sat in the front row of the gathering listening to his address.