Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo has, for now, survived calls for him to go as ANC chairperson of the province.
However, he is not off the hook yet because a special national executive meeting (NEC) can still be called to decide on his fate.
News24 understands that parliamentary chief whip Jackson Mthembu tabled the motion for Mahumapelo’s provincial executive committee (PEC) to be disbanded during an NEC meeting that ended on Monday.
It is believed that some of the NEC members who supported the chief whip’s call include Ronald Lamola, Veteran’s League president Snuki Zikalala and Mahumapelo’s one-time ally Collen Maine.
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini were said to have been against the suggestion.
Division over disbandment
Sources have told News24 that the NEC, which is the highest decision-making structure between conferences, was deeply divided over the disbandment of the PEC.
Mahumapelo resigned as premier last Wednesday – a move that was seen as a face-saving attempt ahead of this past weekend’s NEC meeting, where his fate was expected to be decided.
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However, his detractors in the province and some NEC members said he should still be removed as provincial chair because the new premier would still need to report to him. They also claim the party structures are in disarray, as some members, who disagree with the PEC, are being kept out.
“The daggers were out for Mahumapelo. It was heated debate on Sunday when we discussed the North West,” an NEC member told News24.
Another admitted it was a tough battle dealing with the issue, as some insisted dissolving the platinum-rich province’s PEC would be a sign that those who hadn’t wanted party president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed former president Jacob Zuma were indeed being purged.
No clean audit
The entire North West government has been placed under national administration amid reports of maladministration and a collapse in governance. According to the latest Auditor General report, all 22 municipalities in the province failed to get a clean audit.
While Mahumapelo’s supporters saw his continued stay as provincial chair as a victory, at least two other sources within the NEC said it was based on a technicality.
No reports, no evidence
No formal written reports were received from the NEC deployees to the province, the inter-ministerial committee set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate governance in the province, and the provincial working committee.
“These reports were to be processed first by the ANC national working committee (NWC) and then presented to the NEC,” a source said.
The NWC, made up of the top six officials and other elected members, deals with the day-to-day running of the party.
A special NEC meeting will be convened immediately after the NWC has received the reports.
It is believed that Mahumapelo’s supporters argued that, without the reports, there was no evidence to remove him as chair.
The NWC is also expected to deal with the NEC deployees’ report on the controversial Free State elective conference that is facing a possible legal challenge, with disgruntled members claiming they were left out.
NEC sources say this was deferred to the next sitting, as there wasn’t a report from the deployees to the conference.
During this weekend’s meeting, the NEC was also expected to decide on the platinum-rich province’s new premier. It had a choice of three names, but a source said all three were rejected.
Secretary general Ace Magashule is expected to address the media on the outcome of the NEC at 13:00.