JOHANNESBURG – Supra Mahumapelo’s fate as Premier of the North West may be decided this coming week after President Cyril Ramaphosa requested that the province be placed under administration.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is scheduled to deliver its findings this week.
On Friday, Ramaphosa wrote to Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, notifying her of Cabinet’s intention to place the troubled North West province under administration.
Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo wouldn’t be drawn on what consequences, if any, the North West being placed under administration has for Mahumapelo. But, national government’s intervention and the NCOP’s processes will run simultaneously.
“Our preoccupation is ensuring that we initiate a process to independently satisfy ourselves that all the constitutional procedures have been followed and that there exists circumstances that warrant such an intervention,” Mothapo said.
Mahumapelo has remained defiant since widespread violence and looting crippled the provincial capital of Mahikeng several weeks ago. He maintains he’s innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki says he’s inclined to agree with him.
“I really don’t blame him for standing his ground because I don’t know what he’s accused of. He’s accused of corruption but none of this has been taken to the courts and he’s not been charged of it. There is obviously a strong faction in the North West ANC that is against him. But then so does he have his own strong faction.”
Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi says what is happening in the North West could signal the start of testing times ahead for Ramaphosa.
“There is a perception in that NEC that those who supported Jacob Zuma are being purged, which means what you must expect is a fight back. And I think what is happening in the North West is part of that fight back.”
The Inter-Ministerial Committee and Task Team sent to the North West will brief the media on their findings in the coming week.