- Candidates are vying for the position of premier as the smell blood as Supra Mahumapelo position comes under increasing attack
- The ANC are set to make decision on the premier's fate in May when the NEC meet
- A number of candidates have been shortlisted, some support Mahumapelo while others have been his fiercest critics
The ANC has not yet made any formal decision on what fate await the North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo but behind the scenes, potential candidates are lobbying for the position.
A decision is expected to be made in May after the national executive committee (NEC) meets. Mahumapelo has resisted efforts to force him to resign he is preparing for the possibility of his recall by trying to influence who his successor will be.
According to sources within the ANC, Mahumapelo met with two female MECs and a district municipality mayor and discussed plans on one of them replacing him should he be forced to step down.
A worrying concern for Mahumapelo and his supporters is that the ANC might disband the pro-Mahumapelo provincial executive committee (PEC) which would reduce his influence over who would replace him.
Provincial chairperson of the SA Communist Party, Madoda Sambatha, expects the ANC to appoint someone who "knows exactly what the problems are."
“There are such people in the legislature. As the SACP, we don’t want to be seen to be pushing for Mahumapelo’s removal and quickly say who should replace him ... we have made it clear that he should go but we expect the ANC to give us someone who will represent us and our views as well,” he said.
Three women candidates have been shortlisted, MEC Fenny Gaolaolwe, agriculture MEC Manketsi Tlhape and Bojanala mayor Fetsang Mokati.
However, three other candidates are also possible replacements, Mmoloki Cwaile, an ANC PEC member; Philemon Mapulane, who chairs the portfolio committee on environmental affairs; and former MEC China Dodovu.
Cwaile openly campaigned for Cyril Ramaphosa last year and was suspended from the embattled provincial health department where he was the director.
Dodovu has been a vocal critic of Mahumapelo and had written a number of open letters in the past criticising the premier's leadership.
Mapulane has also been at odds with Mahumapelo and was the parliamentary committee chairperson in the wildlife donation scandal which revealed that R100-million in game had been awarded to a few individuals, some of the close to Mahumapelo.
“It is not going to be easy though. Most of the people in government have got their own skeletons ... most of the names that are coming up will possibly be opposed, based on one or two scandals,” said an ANC provincial legislator.
There is pressure being put on the ANC to remove Mahumapelo and disband the PEC but the premier's supporters are calling for a fact-finding mission to be launched before any decision is made.
The SACP has written a seven-page letter detailing reasons why the premier should be removed ranging from using street thugs to attack his opponents, protecting and promoting the Guptas business interests, running a parallel government and defending corrupt practices.
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