The African National Congress has not yet decided on who should replace North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo who announced his “early retirement” this week.
The ANC’s national executive committee has been in a closed meeting in Irene, Pretoria since Saturday to deliberate on the state of the party, its provinces, its recent land summit and the state of the country’s economy.
It was also expected to discuss who it wanted to take over the platinum-rich province’s government.
Mahumapelo stepped down following violent protests and calls for him to resign from both residents and ANC members.
His province has been embroiled in allegations of corruption and maladministration. President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to place all the provincial departments there under administration when the health department collapsed.
Several NEC members had said Mahumapelo and his provincial executive committee’s fate would come under the spotlight at this conference, with some saying this would spell the end of the PEC and Mahumapelo’s reign as chairperson of the party in the North West.
However, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told journalists on the sidelines of the NEC gathering that the PEC was still “intact”.
He said there had been no decision taken as to who should replace Mahumapelo as Premier.
“The North West discussions are still going on, we have not yet arrived at that position, but we are saying we need further engagement,” said Magashule.
He said the province’s PEC had submitted three names for consideration.
“We want to further engage with the PEC as well as other structures, so we … resolve the problems of the North West once and for all,” said Magashule.
Magashule said a team would also be sent to KwaZulu-Natal to assess the state of regions there. There has been a spate of political killings in the province recently and numerous ANC members have been targeted.
He told journalists they had been satisfied with the regions and provinces they had assessed so far.
“Once a province meets the threshold, it qualifies to go to conference but we are sensitive to the issues of KwaZulu Natal.
“We are going to send a team to KZN, not just Harry Gwala and Moses Mabhida but to continue to do work and stabilise,” said Magashule.
Speaking on the controversial Free State conference which took place last week, Magashule said the elected provincial chairperson Sam Mashinini and secretary Paseka Nompondo were at the NEC meeting. He said a report from the NEC on the conference would be delivered.
Some disgruntled Free State party members are threatening to go to court and challenge last week‘s conference, complaining that proper procedures and ANC constitution guidelines were ignored.
Meanwhile, on the issue of land, Magashule said they were continuing to engage following the historic land summit the party held last week.
It had recommended that instead of attempting to amend the Constitution, government needed to go ahead and expropriate land without compensation – thus testing the legislation around the issue.
“We are going to further engage with stakeholders in South Africa. Take on board other communities but we have discussed this matter… we are even going to engage traditional leaders and our structures on the ground in our communities to brief them on the outcome of our land summit,” said Magashule.
Some traditional leaders expressed outrage over comments made by former President Kgalema Motlanthe at the summit at the time. He questioned communal land and reminded the ANC that it needed to put the people ahead of chiefs and traditional leaders.
He also questioned the Ingonyama trust, of which the Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini is the sole trustee.