No resolution on Mahumapelo’s future as Ramaphosa urges calm

No resolution has yet been reached by the ANC on the concerns in the North West province that spurred protest action in Mahikeng, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday night.

In a press briefing, Ramaphosa said the ANC had been involved in “intensive discussions” with its colleagues in the North West, members of the provincial legislature, members of the executive committee in the province and Premier Supra Mahumapelo himself, but more time would be required for discussions to take place with affected communities.

“Having listened to all the inputs, we have decided we would like to engage further… particularly with members of the community,” Ramaphosa said.

In the meeting, there were “issues raised” on corruption in the province, which involved allegations against Mahumapelo, he said. The main concern was to now speak with residents in Mahikeng and to look at the issues from “all sides”.

However, protests have once again erupted in Mahikeng. Before Ramaphosa began his press briefing, reports emerged of protesters regathering due to news that the ANC meeting had not yet reached a resolution on Mahumapelo’s fate.

The governing party is facing increasing pressure to sack Mahumapelo following accusations his government made a R180-million payment to a Gupta-linked medical technology company Mediosa, despite there being no work done.

Ramaphosa said he is aware residents may be angered by this announcement that the ANC requires more time, and that a delegation had been sent to communicate with them.

“Now this is the way we work. We want to base our decision on proper analysis, on proper evaluation,” he said.

“Now, there may be concern out there that we are going to take forever, I want to assure everyone that we are going to act speedily on this matter,” he continued.

The president has no timeframe as to when a decision will be reached but said that the ANC will “act as speedily as possible”. He ended his statement by making urging calm and non-violence, asking that Mahikeng, which has been on shutdown since the protests began on Wednesday, be allowed to return to normal conditions.

“We call on all our that lets be calm and that this matter will be resolved,” he said.

“Let us revert to a position of normalcy as we address this matter and reach finality on it.”

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Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.
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