ANC veteran Bushy Maape elected North West premier in easy victory over DA
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Johannesburg - ANC veteran Bushy Maape has been elected as premier of the North West following an easy victory over the DA’s candidate, Winston Rabotapi, in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.
Maape and Rabotapi were the only two contestants for the post in an election which lasted over an hour and was presided over by North West Judge President Monica Leeuw.
Declaring Maape as the premier, Judge President Leeuw said Maape received 21 votes while Rabotabi secured five votes. Twenty-six MPL participated in the elections. The North West Legislature has 33 members in total. Four EFF members did not attend the voting sessions and three of them declined to participate.
The 21 members who voted for Maape constitute the total number of ANC members in the legislature; the other five who voted are DA members. The EFF, which is the main opposition party, opted not to participate. The voting was held by secret ballot.
Speaker of the North West legislature Sussana Dantjie convened a special legislature meeting on Tuesday to the elect a new premier. ANC Chief Whip Paul Sebegoe nominated ANC Maape – a former adviser to Mokgoro – to be the new premier. Sebegoe was supported by Bitsa Lenkopane, acting secretary of the ANC Women’s League and an MPL. In a surprise turn of events, Lenkopane was accused of being a confidant of Mokgoro, who allegedly refused to take instructions from the ANC’s Interim-Provincial Council under Hlomane Chauke.
Chauke and some of his provincial leadership played a prominent role in the removal of Mokgoro as premier and member of the legislature in August. The fallout between the ANC and Mokgoro deepened in January after Mokgoro, Lenkopane and other members of the legislature were accused of having voted with the opposition parties for ANC member Priscilla Williams to be elected as chairs of chairs in the legislature.
Chauke and his team had wanted former Mahikeng mayor Lena Miga to be elected but she lost to Williams.
This prompted Chauke to place Mokgoro, Lenkopane, Williams and two others on suspension but the party failed to serve disciplinary charges against them on time in compliance with the ANC’s constitution.
In the legislature on Tuesday, ANC members appeared to show a unity of force when Lenkopane supported the nomination of Maape despite speculations that some of the ANC members were likely to vote with the opposition.
However, sources said an ANC caucus meeting on Monday gave an instruction to all 21 ANC MPLs to vote for Maape or face the consequences.