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ANC names Bushy Maape as North West premier-elect as protests break out

He will replace embattled Job Mokgoro, who by Tuesday afternoon had not officially resigned

The ANC on Tuesday announced Bushy Maape as its North West premier-elect to replace Job Mokgoro.
The ANC on Tuesday announced Bushy Maape as its North West premier-elect to replace Job Mokgoro.
Image: MotswedingFM via Facebook

The ANC in the North West on Tuesday announced former struggle stalwart and Robben Island prisoner Bushy Maape as its premier-elect following the removal of embattled premier Job Mokgoro.

Mokgoro has not officially resigned from his position nor the provincial legislature but has been informed of his sacking, according to interim provincial committee coordinator Hlomani Chauke, who said Maape’s appointment would go ahead nonetheless. 

Although Mokgoro has previously defied party instructions for his removal, Chauke said they were confident he would accept the decision, which came from the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences, the national executive committee (NEC).   

“Mokgoro’s resignation is under way. We have made him aware but we are yet to receive his resignation via the office of the speaker. Those are administrative processes and by the end of the day we would have resolved them,” said Chauke. 

The party’s announcement came as a handful of Mokgoro’s supporters gathered in protest, barricading roads and burning tyres while they aired grievances about the sacking of the premier. Some threatened to “burn down the province” if the ANC forged ahead with his removal.

“The interim provincial committee (IPC) wishes to convey its gratitude to the outgoing premier, comrade Mokgoro, for his sterling work of guiding the provincial government during the most turbulent times. His administrative skills are not lost to the people of our province, and the ANC will continue to benefit from them,” said Chauke.

Maape, 64, emerged victorious for the top job after an intensive interview by the party’s top six, according to the IPC coordinator.

“The appointment of comrade Maape as premier-elect is intended to entrench the work done by the ANC-led provincial government and expedite the rollout of radical socio-economic transformation in the province. Working together with the IPC and provincial stakeholders, comrade Bushy will lead from the front as we continue to battle Covid-19 and economic challenges.

“The IPC firmly believes comrade Maape is equal to the task expected to be delivered as outlined in our election manifesto,” said Chauke. 

The premier-elect possesses academic qualifications including a BA (psychology and economics) from Unisa which he completed while incarcerated on Robben Island, a BA (Hons) in developmental studies from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and a BA (Hons) in economics from UWC.

He is studying with the University of the Witwatersrand in the field of governance (political development and economics). 

“With his valuable experience both within the movement and academic expertise, comrade Maape will pursue the objectives of the ANC by improving the lives of the people of North West,” said Chauke.