With his toppling as North West's strongman now imminent, the conspiracy of silence over rampant corruption and maladministration has been lifted. Interventions by the ANC and the government have generated an avalanche of information about how the budgets of provincial departments and municipalities were used to cement Mahumapelo's grip on power.

The tipping point appears to have been the dodgy R180-million contract awarded by the provincial department of health to Gupta-linked company Mediosa, with R30-million paid without any work done.

Recent public protests and the continuing strike by the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union has forced the national government to confront the crisis in the public health sector.

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