ROAD TO DECEMBER 2022
Supra Mahumapelo ‘pulls out’ of North West ANC chairperson race and aims for NEC position
Former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has pulled out of the competition for the hotly contested position of provincial chairperson of the North West ANC at the 9th elective conference currently under way in Rustenburg.
Speaking to Daily Maverick on the sidelines of the conference on Sunday 14 August Mahumapelo, a known member of the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) faction, revealed that some branches had asked him to stand as a candidate while other branches had asked him not to run as they wanted to nominate him for a position in the party’s national executive committee (NEC).
He indicated that he had decided on the latter as it increases his chances not only as an ordinary member of the NEC but also as a member of the party’s top six.
“If you stand here and stand again for national, you appear like a person who is after positions. So one has to think carefully about some of these things because how you come across in society as a leader is very key, so I thought carefully about it,” he said.
The move would embolden the RET faction which has few voices in the NEC that is predominantly behind President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa is believed to enjoy more than 70% support in the NEC which is the highest decision making body in between conferences.
Daily Maverick understands that some NEC members and deputy president David Mabuza called Mahumapelo into a steering committee meeting on the evening of Saturday 13 August and negotiated that he drop a court application which sought to challenge the conference from forging ahead.
In his application, Mahumapelo argued that members of the interim provincial committee (IPC) were not nominated by their respective branches to attend the conference as either voting or non-voting delegates and as a result, their presence at the conference was a violation of the party constitution.
“It is our client’s further instructions that the 9th ANC North West Provincial Conference is marred with illegality and any consequent outcomes emanating from the said conference would be unlawful, invalid and inconsistent with the ANC Constitution,” Mahumapelo’s legal team argued.
“It is our client’s instruction that logic would dictate that the provincial conference can certainly not continue in its present form as any results emanating thereof, will undoubtedly be declared unlawful by a court of law.”
Prior to this, an aggrieved member of the party, Tshepo Bosman, launched an urgent court interdict in the Mahikeng High Court to bar members of the IPC from voting at the conference. He had argued that the structure which was established by the NEC in 2018 was unconstitutional as its term had lapsed three years ago. The court ruled in his favour and ordered that the 22 respondents cited in the application, including members of the IPC and the ANC nationally, pay the costs of the urgent interdict.
North West convenor Obed Bapela said members of the IPC would still participate in the conference proceedings and the only power they would forfeit as a result of the court’s decision would be the voting.
The conference was eventually opened by Mabuza on Saturday evening following several delays, some of which threatened the conference’s forging ahead.
In his keynote address, Mabuza did not mince his words on the challenges the North West province grappled with and told more than 1,000 delegates that as a result of some of the unending challenges, South Africans were losing patience with the party.
“It is a known fact that we are facing challenges. We meet at a time when the people we profess to lead are now starting to question themselves, and they doubt our ability to provide leadership to the complex societal challenges of the moment,” said Mabuza.
The conference is currently under way. Current premier Bushy Maape and former ANC MP Nono Maloyi are going head to head for the provincial chairperson position, which was earlier contested by seven candidates who did not make the cut.
There was an earlier attempt to have Maloyi removed from the race on the basis that he faces a culpable homicide case that emanates from 2018 but was later provisionally withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Among Maloyi’s detractors is the Bojanala region which wrote to the IPC requesting that Maloyi be barred from contesting as the case could potentially be reinstated if further evidence emerged.
Maloyi described the attempt to remove him as unfortunate and not applicable in so far as the party’s step-aside resolution is concerned.
Despite this, support for Maloyi appeared to be consolidated. Since the start of the conference delegates declared their support publicly, some chanting, “We Nono sekusele kancane uzophumelela,” loosely translated to, “it’s only a matter of time Nono, you will emerge victorious”. DM