Embattled former premier of the North West Province, Supra Mahumapelo, claims that the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) refused to hear his side of the story. He refuted recent claims that he had centralized the budget and functioning of some departments in his office which resulted in R16 billion in irregular and wasteful expenditure. 

During his exclusive interview with Newsi, Mahumapelo alleged that he came up with what he called the Setsokotsane Operation Centre which was launched in 2016. According to Mahumapelo, its aim was to receive grievances around the province and receive attention within 14 days. 

“Although I will speak at the right time to the media I would like to refute these baseless claims which have got no substance. Each department received its budget and the relevant MEC accounted for using such budget allocated to her or his department hence I demanded regular reports from them, so how is it possible that someone accounts for the money they were not responsible to use?”, asked Mahumapelo.

Following violent protests in the North West, Mahumapelo resigned from his position as the Premier at the beginning of 2018

The former premier alleges that the coordinated efforts to remove him as premier were violent and resulted in the government buildings being destroyed however no one was held responsible. He claims that the real insurrection was not during the 2021 July unrest but this one because the state’s property was burned and there was no commission of inquiry. He says that he has laid a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in 2018 but has only received a response last week where SAHRC said it will determine if the complaint falls within their jurisprudence or not. 

Following the removal of Mahumapelo, section 100 (1) of the Constitution was instituted (..”national intervention in a provincial administration may take place when a province cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution”) presided by an Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT), led by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 

The IMTT submitted a report to the cabinet. The report found that Mahumapelo failed to comply with the prescripts of governance, thereby entrenching a culture of impunity due to a lack of consequence management. 

The IMTT revealed that section 100 (1) is in the process of being lifted during this week based on the achievements of the specified results within the affected departments. At the end of this month, the province might be governed without the help of the national government.

Mahumapelo questioned the credibility of the IMTT report, “how can such a report be submitted without my input? I have asked the NCOP in 2019 to invite me to give the side of my story. In normal circumstances, I should be given an opportunity to defend myself,” Mahumapelo said.

Although Mahumapelo is at the center of allegations of corruption that brought the North West to its knees, he denies that there is any legal case against him. He alleges that he has been called a criminal and killer by people with no evidence to prove their case. According to the IMTT report, there are over 50 cases that are being investigated while 17 of those cases are before the courts. 

Mahumapelo further ridiculed the NW provincial government for stating that more than R17 billion had been returned to Treasury allegedly because it had not been used in the last financial year. “During my reign as the premier, I have never seen money returning to the treasury because it was never used. Our people need services so how come you dont use the money to build roads, supply water, and create jobs,” he added.

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Kenneth Mokgatlhe

Kenneth Mokgatlhe is a political and social commentator.

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