THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED
Johannesburg - Supra Mahumapelo announced on Wednesday that he is going on "early retirement" and will vacate his position as North West Premier .
Mahumapelo, 49, told a media briefing that if he stayed as premier he would be accused of using the office to fight his own defence.
He will, however, remain chairperson of the ANC in the North West.
After weeks of speculation, in a speech at Luthuli House on Wednesday, Mahumapelo outlined his decision to leave his office a year before his term ends.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte confirmed that Mahumapelo had handed in his resignation letter to the speaker of the provincial legislature.
It’s not clear yet who will take over from him, but he still remains in a powerful position as the chairperson of the ANC in the province.
Mahumapelo was expected to resign two weeks ago but the African National Congress (ANC) in the North West insisted at the time that Mahumapelo was "going nowhere".
However, North West Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development MEC Wendy Nelson was appointed as acting premier.
Mahumapelo used the briefing on Wednesday to outline his successes as the leader of the provincial government.
He said his decision was motivated by multiple reasons including the fact that he may be accused of using the office to defend himself and purge those that have differed with him politically.
Mahumapelo also spoke about the discussions he had with the ANC leadership and his concerns about extensive issues that still needed to resolved in the governance of the province.
He said he would like to see issues such as corruption and crime in the province being dealt with.
Mahumapelo also pointed to the abuse of state assets by fellow ANC members.
Mahumapelo's resignation has been expected as widespread protests had gripped the province for weeks.
The former premier has been accused of corruption and for failing to run the provincial government.
The most affected department in the province has been its health department, where the SA Defence Force had to send its health services to the province's hospitals to assist staff members.
The National Health and Allied Workers Union has been on strike for months demanding swift action to be taken about the issues affecting the health department.
Cabinet took the decision to place the entire North West government under administration following a preliminary investigation by an inter-ministerial task team.IOL