The ANC in the North West province has been riddled with divisions since the removal of Supra Mahumapelo as both the party’s chairperson and the province’s premier in 2018 following the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the party’s president in the last elective conference in 2017 held at Nasrec. Mahumapelo is believed to be aligned to Ramaphosa’s opponent faction known as the RET (Radical Economic Transformation).

The ANC NW is limping its way through into the elective conference to be held at the end of the year. Amongst those who are expected to contest for the ANC NW’s top post are Supra Mahumapelo, Bushy Maape, Nono Maloi, Hlomani Chauke, Motlalepule Rosho, and Lenah Miga.

Although the majority of the branches are preparing to go into their biennial branch conferences, there are challenges due to existing grouping. ANC in ward 7 (Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality) is going into the pre-BGM meeting this weekend but another grouping has rejected it citing irregularities.

“These people want to steal our branch for the purpose of returning Supra Mahumapelo as the chairperson of the ANC in our province. We are not going back there, the meeting to be held this weekend is illegitimate,” Mpho Mooketsi, ANC member said.

Political analyst Dr. Metji Makgoba from the University of Limpopo (UL) said “I think what is happening in the NW is that the RET forces which are linked to the former president, Jacob Zuma, is trying to resuscitate itself in that province. They are trying to find loopholes in the current administration so that they can regroup. There has been a fightback from Ramaphosa’s faction, the situation will remain as it is for many years to come”, Dr. Makgoba said.

Since 2018, the party has not known stability and has been running through the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) which has not been able to unite the party and hold a provincial conference. The province has been operating through an interim structure since the dissolution of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) which was chaired by Mahumapelo.

ANC NW Provincial List Committee (PLC) member who did not want to be named for fear of victimization said “as per the guidelines of the constitution the interim structure is given only nine months and nothing beyond that”, the source warned.

He was referring to the incumbent IPC which has been in office since 2018. 

The source was questioning the lifespan of the IPC which has lapsed and the legitimacy of the decisions to be taken by such an illegitimate structure. Chauke has been the province’s interim coordinator for more than 3 years.

Another member of the ANC NW PLC, Joe Mboweni, said “the delegation that will participate in that conference from the branches will also be illegitimate. It is unfortunate that we have raised this matter, but we were ignored because people are taken up by nostalgia, hype, and euphoria of getting to the conference,” he said.

The divisions amongst the two groupings within the party in the province were visible during local government elections when both factions submitted two parallel lists to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for the purpose of the recent elections.

At the time, the PLC spoke out against “the alleged parachuted ANC councilors in North West municipalities” where it is alleged that there was a gross manipulation of process in the selection of councilor candidates leading to the 2021 local government elections.

In one North West municipality, the Gauteng South High Court ordered the removal of Gaolatlhe Kgabo who is an ANC councilor at Dr. Segomotsi Ruth Mompati Municipality. A court application was pursued by Michael Mkhandawire. 

Mkhandawire went back to court in a bid to force the IPC NW coordinator, Hlomani Chauke, to be jailed for 6 months for failing to implement the court order, but this was dismissed while the court is still entertaining the allegations of contempt of court order launched by Mkhandawire.

The ANC PLC NW Province is also vowing to proceed with an urgent Mahikeng High Court application in a bid to obtain an order to remove what they call “non-cooperating municipalities representatives”. 

Independent political analyst Dr. Ralph Mathekga echoed Dr. Makgoba’s sentiments, “you are only hearing about unity and renewal of the ANC because the conference date is too close. What did the ANC leadership do after the 2017 Nasrec conference? Those who won the conference, did they reach out to another grouping? Chances of having unity in the ANC is very little even after this year’s conference because those who emerge in the conference will make sure that they entrench themselves in the position of power,” Dr. Mathekga said.

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Kenneth Mokgatlhe

Kenneth Mokgatlhe is a political and social commentator.

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