Media conference where Mahumapelo was to confirm resignation postponed
Mahikeng - A media briefing where North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo was due to confirm his resignation on Wednesday has been indefinitely postponed, his office said.
"The indefinite postponement is due to new developments. We regret the inconvenience occasioned by this indefinite postponement," spokesperson Brian Setswambung said in a statement in the early hours of Wednesday.
Mahumapelo told the SABC on Tuesday night, that by midday on Wednesday, he would be the former premier of the North West.
Earlier on the same day, Mahumapelo told the North West provincial legislature during his office budget vote that he would write a letter to the Speaker before Friday this week.
Although he did not say what the contents would be, it was widely anticipated that he would finally throw in the towel after weeks of pressure. Communities in Mahikeng have been involved in violent protests to demand Mahumapelo's exit.
Angry residents accuse the premier of corruption, which they say has resulted in the poor state of the province. In many places there is an evident lack of basic services such as water and sanitation. Protesters also bemoaned the provinces inability to create jobs.
During his address, Mahumapelo uttered a confusing monologue. "In some critical instances of our lives we are called upon as part of humanity to create the essence of the absence of presence," Mahumapelo said.
"It is therefore in this context of creating the essence of the absence of presence, that in full compliance with the constitution of the republic, the Speaker will receive a commitment in writing before Friday this week."
Late on Tuesday Mahumapelo's party, the African National Congress (ANC), said it accepted his decision to voluntarily exit from his deployment as premier.
"We know that he will continue to serve his movement the ANC in whatever new role we will decide for him," said ANC acting provincial secretary, Sussana Dantjie.
Democratic Alliance North West provincial leader Joe McGluwa said: "We are, however, adamant that Mahumapelo’s transgressions cannot be put to bed merely because he has resigned. He must still be held accountable for the collapse of the North West."
Mahumapelo, 49, became the 5th Premier of the North West on 21 May 2014. He succeeded Thandi Modise, the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.
Modise is widely tipped to replace Mahumapelo.
African News Agency/ANA