supra mahumapelo anc

ANC struggles to get rid of defiant Supra Mahumapelo

Andile Sicetsha - 29.04.2021

Supra Mahumapelo is fighting back with great confidence drawn from the turnout of the ANC’s last attempt to get rid of him.

Former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has proved to be a constant migraine his ANC party can’t cure.

Defiant Supra claims ‘I’m still an ANC member’

In a fiery retaliation, Mahumapelo, on Thursday, addressed the media in an ANC fullscale banner-fied branch presser, claiming that contrary to the party’s decision to suspend him, he is still very much an active cadre.

Mahumapelo told reporters that following the ANC’s notice, he submitted an appeal letter to the ruling party’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC), challenging the suspension that, in his view, holds no merit.

Pending the outcome of this appeal process, he said, he is still, by virtue of due process recognised in the party’s constitution, an active leader in the North West.

The rambunctious roars heard from his supporters, who were out in numbers to show allegiance to Mahumapelo, bellowed outside the presser, an intentional display of defiance from a party branch ready to claw back at the establishment.

ANC’s exhaustive attempts to get rid of Supra Mahumapelo

This standoff, however, is not a new issue the ANC is dealing with in the North West. In an effort to reinvent the brand of the tainted political party, President Cyril Ramaphosa has outrightly won support in the Top Six to strictly and unfavourably apply accountability policies written out in the party’s resolutions.

The step-aside rule is the most prominent policy that has ruptured unity in ANC branches. In KwaZulu-Natal, tensions between embattled Zandile Gumede the provincial leadership are simmering.

In the Free State, the battle lines have been drawn between ANC caucus leaders and those who support Ace Magashule in rumblings of his pending suspension.

On a more national level, the ANC’s military wing has, on a number of occasions, warned that if any sight of law enforcement is seen headed towards Nkandla, a face-off at the gates of former president Jacob Zuma’s homestead will be the only resolve.

In North West, the party is faced with the possibility of failing, once again, to suspend the troubled Mahumapelo. In a statement released by the ANC this week, the party made it clear that a decision was reached in the highest ranks to decommission the former Premier and ex-Women’s League secretary Bitsa Lekonpane for five years.

This came after the pair were found guilty of attempting to cause divisions within the party’s ranks, by the provincial disciplinary committee.

The consequences of this decision are:

  • Mahumapelo and Lekonpane will be stricken from the ANC’s public representatives list;
  • Mahumapelo will be removed as an ANC Member of Parliament;
  • Both suspended cadres will undergo mentorship programmes facilitated by leaders like former president Thabo Mbeki for three years.

Of course, this is all contingent on the outcome of Mahumapelo’s appeal. The former premier will feel confident, knowing that this isn’t his first bout with the ANC.

In 2018, Mahumapelo was thrust into a showdown with his party after he and the North West’s provincial executive committee was disbanded due to allegations of corruption and maladministration.

Appeal processes were followed then and still, Mahumapelo forged ahead and took matters to court where, in February 2019, the judgment fell in his and the PEC’s favour.

The wry smile he keeps in the face of this ANC push-back is no coincidence. Mahumapelo is determined to be a thorn on the side of the ANC’s ‘Thuma Mina-ist‘ agenda.