/ 30 June 2021

National working committee instructs ANC North West to replace Mokgoro

Close Up With North West Premier Job Mokgoro
North West premier Job Mokgoro has been ousted. (Photo by Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

North West premier Job Mokgoro is on his way out. This comes after the national working committee (NWC) instructed the interim provincial committee (IPC) to hand over the names of three candidates to take over the premier’s position by the end of the week. 

Two well placed sources told the Mail & Guardian the decision to give Mokgoro the boot was made during this week’s NWC meeting. 

“There is no turning back now. The IPC has made a strong case that the premier must resign and the NWC agrees,” the one insider said, adding that the three candidates would be discussed at this weekend’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting. 

One name being touted is that of finance MEC Motlalepula Rosho. Rosho, who is considered a firm favourite of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s faction in the NWC, is said to be the leading candidate to take over the premier’s reins. 

Other names include economic development MEC Kenetswe Mosenogi and former MEC Nono Maloyi, whose phone was allegedly tapped by Mokgoro.  

The IPC is now in its final stages in its mission to oust the defiant premier, but the ANC insider said Mokgoro would probably not go without a fight. 

In April, the M&G reported that Mokgoro had allegedly refused to abide by an instruction endorsed by Ramaphosa that he resign. Four sources in the ANC leadership had previously said Mokgoro was asked to step down from his position as premier in March but refused to follow the instruction.

The two sources said the IPC had motivated Mokgoro’s exit as premier by showing evidence that he is frustrating processes of governance and the ANC’s renewal agenda in the province. 

Mokgoro, an ally of suspended former North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, was appointed to replace the former premier when the party dissolved the provincial executive committee (PEC) and recalled him in 2018. 

The IPC suspended Mokgoro’s ANC membership in December for allegedly voting with the Democratic Alliance in the legislature in defiance of his party leadership. A disciplinary process has started in this regard. 

The interim committee, headed by North West ANC co-ordinator Hlomane Chauke, has faced fierce resistance from Mahumapelo’s supporters — led by Mokgoro — since it was appointed. It replaced the provincial task team that Luthuli House had appointed when it dissolved Mahumapelo’s PEC, and consists of members of both the PEC and the provincial task team. 

In March, the M&G reported on a damning 14-page report by the IPC containing findings against Mokgoro. 

The report, which was submitted to ANC secretary general Ace Magashule last year, claimed that rogue intelligence operatives working for Mokgoro tapped the phones of the provincial cabinet members and the interim ANC leaders in North West.

It also claimed that Mokgoro and legislature chief whip Paul Sebego ran a campaign to “liberate” the North West from the IPC.

According to the report, which was leaked to M&G, Mokgoro and Sebego have been at the centre of the campaign to undermine the IPC for allegedly causing “instability” in the province and its municipalities.

Among those whose phones were allegedly tapped was Maloyi, who was asked by the IPC to lay criminal charges, and had done so.

Chauke said further information had surfaced that the agents doing the alleged bugging were interfering in the work of the provincial ANC.