- President Cyril Ramaphosa has cut his UK visit short in order to hold crisis meetings with ANC leaders over protest action in Mahikeng
- The provincial capital has been the scene of chaotic and violent protest action centred on dissatisfaction over Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s leadership
- The meeting is scheduled for Friday and will feature the ANC’s ‘big guns’ in terms of national and provincial leadership, leagues, alliances and provincial caucus
President Cyril Ramaphosa is returning to South Africa from his trip to the UK a day earlier than planned so he can head crisis meetings aimed at resolving the chaos which has engulfed Mahikeng in the North West province. Ramaphosa will address the meeting in Mahikeng later on Friday
The North West provincial capital has been engulfed by chaotic and violent protest actions centred on the dissatisfaction people feel over North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo’s leadership.
The Presidency said in a statement: "To pay attention to the situation in the North West, the President has decided to cut short his participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, where he is leading a government delegation
The ANC is expected to roll out its big guns for the meeting. Ramaphosa will be joined by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and various NEC members.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the ANC’s national leadership will be joined by other ANC structures, provincial leaders, leagues, allies and the ANC’s North West provincial caucus.
Earlier, Ramaphosa called for calm and asked aggrieved parties to express their concerns through peaceful and constructive means. He urged those who had grievances to engage with the ANC rather than turn to violence.
The president urged law enforcement officials to exercise restraint in executing their duties to return the province to a state of calm and normalcy.
Provincial police authorities have confirmed that one person was shot and killed on Thursday, while 16 people have been arrested since the protest action started on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Mahikeng was brought to a standstill when protesters blocked roads leading into and out of the town with rubble and burning tyres. Police eventually cleared the road linking Mahikeng to Zeerust, but only after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protestors.
Violence erupted on Wednesday night, protesters demanded Mahumapelo’s removal from office.
The North West ANC said the violence was unacceptable. "While there are genuine service delivery protests, we as the ANC regard these latest acts of violence in Mahikeng as political opportunism disguised as community outrage," acting provincial secretary Suzan Dantjie said in a statement
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