Supra's win against ANC NEC may be brief

Supra Mahumapelo (centre) talks to journalists during a brief adjournment at the high court in Johannesburg, where the ANC's disbanded North West provincial executive committee won reinstatement yesterday. / Alaister Russell
Supra Mahumapelo (centre) talks to journalists during a brief adjournment at the high court in Johannesburg, where the ANC's disbanded North West provincial executive committee won reinstatement yesterday. / Alaister Russell

Supra Mahumapelo and his provincial executive committee's return to power may be shortlived.

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg yesterday effectively reinstated the disbanded Mahumapelo leadership.

The ANC has said that it would appeal yesterday's ruling by judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane, who declared the 2018 decision by the party's national executive committee (NEC) to disband the North West leadership unlawful.

The provincial leadership's term of office is set to end on Wednesday and only the NEC can decide whether to extend their stay in power while preparing for an elective conference or to appoint a provincial task team (PTT).

Acting ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party leaders have put together a rapid response team headed by deputy president David Mabuza to deal with organisational issues in the North West.

"We are appealing the decision and people should remember the case had nothing to do with Mahumapelo's position as premier. The court decision is about the PEC [provincial executive committee], not the premier position.

"This weekend the rapid response team is going to the North West and will meet with the PTT and the reinstated PEC. part of the discussion will include that the reinstated PEC term is coming to an end," Kodwa said.

He said the NEC was the highest decision-making body between conferences and other structures like the PEC can be overruled by it.

This means Mahumapelo, who is nicknamed "Black Jesus", would be at the mercy of the NEC if they are to keep office until an elective conference. The court gave the ANC two days to reinstate the disbanded PEC and to remove the provincial task team.

The court also declared the decision by the ANC NEC to appoint the provincial task team unlawful.

The court decision is a blow for President Cyril Ramaphosa who does not enjoy the support of Mahumapelo, a former president Jacob Zuma acolyte.

Mahumapelo said he was unfazed by his PEC's term of office ending next week because the ANC NEC has taken a decision that provincial conferences should not take place while the party is campaigning for the elections.

"However, if I was in their position I would not take that decision [to appeal]," he said.

He said the NEC should rather call for unity and renewal of the party in the province ahead of the general elections.

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