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Ramaphosa given 24 hours to fire Supra Mahumapelo

Ramaphosa given 24 hours to fire Supra Mahumapelo
President Cyri Ramaphosa and Chairperson of SADC addressing the opening session of the SADC Extra-Ordinary Double Troika summit held in Luanda, Angola.24/04/2018 Kopano Tlape GCIS

Disgruntled ANC members calling for North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down, have given President Cyril Ramaphosa an ultimatum - either fire him or face a total shutdown of the already troubled province.

The Revolutionary Council has the support of former ANC student leaders in the province and the North West Business Forum, which has been calling for Mahumapelo to go since 2015.

The group has insisted that Ramaphosa has the prerogative to recall the premier or he could use his powers to place the province under administration.

Ramaphosa has been given until Wednesday to act.

The Revolutionary Council, which embarked on a campaign to oust Mahumapelo in January, has slammed Ramaphosa for failing to urgently end the crisis in the province, which has already led to the death of a 16-year-old boy during violent protests and brought schooling and health services to a halt.

“If you are a responsive government at national level, you have to know that we cannot have another Marikana. Mahumapelo must be given an opportunity to resign or be recalled as soon as yesterday. It’s already too late but we want him to do it latest by Wednesday,” the council’s leader Thato Magogodi said.

“Otherwise, we will call people back to the streets to escalate the activities, not [burn] the buildings, but escalate the civil disobedience campaign so as to [shut down this province] until Mahumapelo resigns,” he said.

Ramaphosa cut short his visit to London last week to meet with ANC structures when violence broke out in the capital Mahikeng. Residents had taken to the streets demanding Mahumapelo’s removal.

‘Collapse of governance, corruption’

However, after the meeting, Ramaphosa requested more time to deal with the crisis and said he still wanted to meet with community members.

On Tuesday, Magogodi said, while they welcomed Ramaphosa’s initial response, he only had enough time to deal with the crisis.

In an interview with News24 in Rustenburg, Magogodi said the ANC Veteran’s League had already presented Ramaphosa, the party’s top six and the national executive committee (NEC) with a report on the collapse of governance, widespread corruption and a break down of party structures long before the violence erupted.

“So the decision that he still wants to dissect the issues is worrisome and he is moving at the speed of a tortoise, and more seriously, it is not in touch with the pulse of the times and the speed at which the people want the matter resolved,” Magogodi said.

ANC NEC members told News24 that the decision to recall Mahumapelo would have to be taken at its next meeting.

Some said secretary general Ace Magashule should call an urgent meeting as the crisis was deepening. It is expected that Mahumapelo will get support from some who were in the so-called ‘Premier League’.

‘The president must prevail…’

In 2011, the Limpopo government was placed under partial administration by then president Jacob Zuma’s government as it faced a financial crisis. Two years later, then premier Cassel Mathale resigned after he was recalled by the party.

“The president must prevail against this man who claims to be premier of North West… and make him aware that the house is on fire. We are saying as president of [the] ANC, [Ramaphosa] must fast-track the processes. We are not dealing with this matter as if we don’t have a president,” former student leader Solly Bokaba said.

He said Ramaphosa’s decision to only meet with ANC structures instead of the communities that voted for the ANC was “half measured” as he met mostly with people who were trying to “protect their positions of power”.

“It’s a half-measured response because he just met in a boardroom situation with the leaders,” he said.

Mass civil disobedience campaign

The group has slammed the violence that has erupted across the province but has urged residents to continue with what they called a “mass civil disobedience campaign”.

“What we [are] worried about is that there should not be violence associated with it. We condemn the arson [and] destruction of property, but our people must continue with the civil disobedience campaign and [escalate] the political crisis to ensure that Mahumapelo goes,” Magogodi said.

A school was torched in Stella, north of Vryburg, while several towns have been shutdown as residents barricaded the streets with rocks and burning tyres demanding that Mahumapelo goes. Security has been deployed to try and quell the unrest.

“We support the mass uprisings. We are aware that our people have been bottling their emotions across the province over how government was running,” Bokaba said.

They dismissed claims by Mahumapelo’s supporters that those calling for him to go were people who were opposed to radical economic transformation.

“It’s a very schizophrenic defence because any member of the ANC who understands the national democratic revolution supports radical economic transformation. The difference is that we want it executed through clean governance. People must benefit, not one man with his cronies,” Magogodi said. DM

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