Meet the ANC’s candidate for North West Premier

The ANC will on Thursday finally announce its chosen candidate for North West premier. 

The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) met on Wednesday night, where it reportedly decided that 70-year-old Tebogo Job Mokgoro, a former director general for the North West, will be named the new premier. News24 reported that Mokgoro’s appointment is a “compromise” because the party’s alliance partners wanted other candidates for the position.

The ANC has been under pressure to find Supra Mahumapelo’s replacement within 30 days. Mahumapelo. 

READ MORE: ANC ‘split’ over Supra replacement

Mahumapelo — who is now the provincial chairperson — announced he was going on ”early retirement” in May. Had the party failed to timeously announce its candidate then the Constitution states that the legislature would have to be dissolved and an early election would have to be held.

On Monday, the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) failed to agree on who should replace Mahumapelo. Speaker of the provincial legislature Susan Dantjie and former ambassador Jerry Matjila were among the candidates who were considered for the top job.

The ANC’s alliance partners — the South African Communist Party, Cosatu and the South African National Civic Organisation — had backed ANC stalwart Zakes Tolo, a fierce Mahumapelo critic, to fill the premier’s seat. But the party’s provincial executive committee excluded Tolo’s name from its final list.

Mokgoro has said that if he is chosen for the job, he will accept it given the dire situation in the North West, which is currently under administration.

“If I am asked to serve, given the state of affairs in the province, I will be available,” Mokgoro told the Sowetan.

The ANC will make the announcement at 11am on Thursday and the provincial legislature is expected to sit on Friday where Mokgoro will fill the premier’s post.


The new premier

Mokgoro is known as a strict taskmaster who runs a tight ship.

In the 1990s, he would reportedly check every office on a Friday afternoon, making sure none of his colleagues had snuck away for an early start to the weekend, according to the City Press.

In an interview with the newspaper in 2013, he made his stance on corruption in politics clear: “When the fish is rotten, start checking the head — you will see that is where it started. So, similarly, a lot of times when things go wrong, check leadership,” he said.

“A lot of times when children in families go astray, check mummy and daddy. So politicians are absolutely to blame.”

Born in Kimberley, he later married former Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, with whom he fathered five children.

He holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Toledo in the United States, and has been a visiting professor at Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management. 

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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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