While the ANC’s negotiations drag on over North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s fate, chaos is escalating in the violence-torn province.
Health professionals, who have been on strike for more than a month, temporarily shut down a Potchefstroom hospital yesterday.
Last month, protests erupted across the province as residents demanded the premier step down, accusing him of corruption.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said a group of protesters disrupted services at the hospital yesterday, but left before police could intervene.
Mokgwabone said that Mahikeng, where violent protests flared up last week, had been calm since President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the town.
Political analyst Thapelo Tselapedi said the ANC has to take its time deliberating on whether Mahumapelo should be recalled.
“There are so many aspects to this. He is the provincial leader of the province and also, from a legal perspective, he has not been charged or found guilty of anything, so it would be very difficult for them to simply recall him.
“It would have to be a political intervention, but I don’t think they could have done this swiftly,” he said. “Once the national executive committee has made a decision, I’m sure he will have to resign, but I don’t think he will take it lying down. They have to be careful about how they handle the fallout.”
A ministerial task team has been in the province to deal with concerns about the province’s leadership after Cabinet’s decision last week to intervene.
Cabinet invoked a constitutional clause, allowing it to ensure that provincial governments meet their constitutional obligations. This followed another decision this week to place the province’s health department under administration.
ANC insiders claimed the party’s National Working Committee has already decided to recall Mahumapelo, if calls for him to resign fail. The NEC is expected to meet on Monday to remove him, if he has not resigned by then.
– Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Also read: ‘Firing Mahumapelo would have caused mayhem in Mahikeng’