As Ace Magashule’s step-aside deadline expires, Supra Mahumapelo vows to fight suspension

By Greg Nicolson 29 April 2021

Left, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule. (Photo: Gallo Images / Alon Skuy) | Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo. (Photo: Gallo Images/ Sharon Seretlo)

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo has vowed to appeal against his five-year suspension from the ANC while also looking ahead to the party’s next national conference. The deadline for ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule to step aside, meanwhile, appears to have been extended.

Greg Nicolson

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo has claimed his five-year suspension from the ANC did not follow the party’s disciplinary procedures and was motivated by biased rivals aiming to purge opponents.

Mahumapelo, a Member of Parliament who led the ANC in North West between 2011 and 2018, will appeal against the five-year suspension handed down by the party’s interim provincial committee on Wednesday.

He was suspended alongside acting ANC provincial Women’s League Secretary Bitsa Lenkopane for organising a parallel rally to an official party event in December 2020 ahead of by-elections. The interim ANC North West leadership provisionally suspended Mahumapelo last week, pending the outcome of his case.

Lenkopane is also appealing against her five-year suspension. According to the outcomes of their disciplinary hearings, both Mahumapelo and Lenkopane are due to undergo political mentoring during their suspensions, with Mahumapelo to be mentored by former president Thabo Mbeki for three years.

The ANC leaders will remain members while their appeals to the party’s national disciplinary committee are pending.

“The decision they took is draconian. They didn’t engage politically. I simply went and addressed a meeting of the ANC Women’s League and did door-to-door,” Mahumapelo said in an interview with the SABC.

He said he did not attend his disciplinary committee hearing on Tuesday as his legal representative was not available and the committee ruled against him without hearing his version of events.

“I won’t respect that suspension. I’m exploring internal procedures because I know it is done over bad political motives. It was decided a long time ago,” he said.

“It is a motive that is bad politically. It is because they want to silence me politically. It is an agenda which was part of the Supra must fall campaign.”

Mahumapelo, an ally of ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule and former member of the “premier league” group that supported former president Jacob Zuma, resigned as North West premier in May 2018 after sustained protests against his leadership.

Speaking to supporters in Mahikeng on Thursday, he claimed he was being purged by political opponents alongside leaders such as Zuma and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

Mahumapelo is linked to the ANC’s loosely grouped “radical economic transformation” faction and he suggested the group was looking at the party’s next elective conference, to be held at the end of 2022, to take control of the party and possibly reverse some of the decisions made under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership.

“Conference can do anything… It can say and resolve on anything. It can do anything,” he told supporters.

He stressed that white South Africans still owned key economic industries while the majority of citizens were not economically empowered.

“Black people don’t own anything. That is why the ANC must push and push radical economic transformation.”

“You know if we don’t deal with these things, comrades, there will be a revolution,” said Mahumapelo.

On 29 March 2021, Mahumapelo’s ally Magashule was given 30 days to step aside from his secretary-general position while he faces corruption charges related to a R255-million Free State asbestos audit contract while he was premier of the province.

That deadline has come and gone. While the secretary-general has spent the past month consulting former leaders, including Zuma and Mathews Phosa, but not Mbeki or Kgalema Motlanthe, he has made no pronouncements on whether he will step down or force the ANC national executive committee (NEC) to decide whether to suspend him.

News24 has reported that Magashule may have been given a two-week extension to step aside, which appears to coincide with the NEC’s scheduled meeting on the weekend of 8 May. ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile has suggested the 30-day deadline was a loose guide rather than a strict timeline.

Mahumapelo told SABC the ANC should tread carefully on implementing its step-aside rule, which requires members facing criminal charges to vacate their positions pending their cases. He referred to the case of ANC MP Bongani Bongo where a court dismissed corruption charges against him, against which the NPA is appealing.

“My own view is that those who are wrong step aside voluntarily. Because if you force someone to step aside, it means you are not totally complying with the Constitution, which says you are not guilty until you are found guilty by a court of law,” said Mahumapelo.

ANC National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe this week criticised party members who opposed the step-aside rule. He said delegates had voted on the resolution at the party’s 2017 conference and anyone who was unhappy with the ANC’s rules was free to leave the organisation. DM


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 14

  • What a disgusting individual. Giving a 3-hour long speech to a bunch of nobodies, while our president face tough questions at the commission, trying to undo the severe corruption of his predecessor, and other so-called ANC leaders

    • In my opinion that would be true but with respect to certain things such as land which is occupied on a tribal basis. I would say that other things such as cattle, and probably women, would be owned. Let’s just call it a sweeping generalisation to say that there is no such thing as ownership.

      • I’ve now read that properly and it seems to me that he is saying ‘us poor black people own nothing and so now it’s our turn to take just as you-know-who did’. A typical ‘our turn to eat’ situation. The poor fellow hasn’t realised that wealth, whether personal or material, is only gained through work

        • Not quite. As a matter of fact at least 80% of all material wealth in SA is still owned by white people, result of 350+ years of systemic exploitation, colonialism and apartheid. Weather we whites like it or not, this is undisputable fact and ammunition for RET.

          • I doubt that your figure is correct but won’t dispute it. The issue is that BEE was never designed to correct these imbalances, but rather create a new class of black billionaires. Read Moeletsi Mbeki’s books. It is easy to correct: introduce a non-racial, means based, Economic Empowerment model.

  • Typical anc/cr – always prepared to wait some more. What a load of crap. Stick to the rules and stick to the deadlines. Why should anyone stick to the laws and rules of the country if this is the continuous example ‘from the top’? Children grow up seeing that you can always ‘get away’ with not ..

  • This individual & others of his ilk who are ‘established’ in the ANC ranks is an example of the wholly Augean stable (sty?) that the likes of CR (& not sure how many others?) have to clean! The ghastly language of wharra, wharra that littered the invocation to a gullible audience was breathtaking .

  • Here’s a guy who needs “their” Constitution to tell him right from wrong. That’s about all one needs to know about Supra.

  • We need to look past all the “noise” regarding the specifics, whether it’s corruption, negligence or incompetence. The whole public service reveals the crisis whether it’s the SOE’s, healthcare, education or municipal service delivery collapsing. All of them have a single common cause. Leadership lacking in three simple values. Competence, Integrity and Accountability. If the country’s leaders possessed those, most of the problems would not exist. So why does our great constitution not impose higher standards in respect of those values, for the public sector? The failure to do so harms the most vulnerable in society.


    Director-General Sandile Buthelezi suspended over his role in Digital Vibes scandal

    By Greg Nicolson

    Billionaire oil tycoon J Paul Getty had a pay phone in his home so he wouldn't have to pay for guests' calls.