In a letter seen by the Mail & Guardian, the NDC ordered that the matter be referred back to the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) for rehearing in terms of rule 25.24.4 of the party’s constitution.
The four members of the NDC, who reviewed the appeal by the two provincial heavyweights, unilaterally agreed that the hearing be finalised within 15 days, adding that Mahumapelo and Lenkopane should co-operate fully.
The committee found that the case was “not properly ventilated at the provincial level and, thus, the interest of justice of both the charged members and the ANC would best be served if the matter is referred back to the provincial disciplinary committee for rehearing and finalised within 15 days”.
“Both review applications are upheld to afford comrades Supra and Bitsa an opportunity to state their case and conduct their defence.”
Reacting to the ruling, the interim provincial committee (IPC) co-ordinator Hlomani Chauke said Mahumapelo’s suspension still remains.
“We are happy that the matter is still with us; the PDC will continue to deal with this matter. Comrades will still be suspended from party membership.The findings are not setting aside anything. They are simply referring that matter back to the PDC and they are making a call for both comrades to co-operate,” he said.
In April, the two provincial leaders were suspended from the party for five years for sowing division.
In an audio recording, disciplinary committee chairperson Wendy Matsemela said that both would be removed from the ANC list of public representatives.
Mahumapelo has been instructed to undergo a three-year political mentorship programme under former ANC president Thabo Mbeki.
Lenkopane would undergo a similar programme under the mentorship of ANC veteran Barbara Masekela for five years.
In 2018, Mahumapelo was recalled as premier and the ANC provincial executive in North West was collapsed by the ANC national executive committee and replaced with a provincial task team.
Mahumapelo went to court and won, but a political agreement was reached through which the interim provincial committee, which included some of the members of his disbanded provincial executive committee, was set up.
Since then, Mahumapelo has led a fightback, addressing meetings challenging the dissolution of the province’s ANC regions by the IPC.
Earlier this year, Mahumapelo and Lenkopane were charged for several comments he made challenging the IPC and its mandate.
Despite the charges, Mahumapelo allegedly continued to undermine the IPC, which he was subsequently summoned to address. He failed to do so, and was then placed on temporary suspension, pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
Attempts to secure comment from Mahumapelo and Lenkopane were unsuccessful at the time of publication.