Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: Molaole Montsho/African News Agency (ANA)

Mahikeng - Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo will this week serve legal papers on people who have accused him of corruption, he said on Sunday.

"You cannot go around brandishing people this way and that way, tarnishing their image, affecting their standing in the eyes of the society. And you want to be left unattended because you say there must be unity.

"Unity is about speaking the truth, unity is about pursuing the truth. I will make an example, we cannot because we want a united South Africa, we cannot talk about racism when there is racism, it is rife here in South Africa, but still we must unite the country," he told reporters on the sidelines of a youth month lecture in Mahikeng.

He said 13 people would be hauled before the courts, including the "revolutionary council" and Economic Freedom Fighters provincial chair Betty Diale. The first papers were expected to be served on Wednesday.

"It does not mean people who have been peddling lies about me, when people go after them, it's then that we are not pursuing unity. It is actually unity. I am even prepared to sit down with all of them and say you were wrong..."

Mahumapelo said he decided to resign from his position as premier to deal legally with his accusers. On April 18, a wave of violent protest swept through the North West, with people calling for him to resign because of alleged corruption.

Mahumapelo, who is ANC provincial chairman, also called for action to be taken against municipalities that had illegally invested money in troubled VBS Mutual Bank. "There must be drastic action taken in line with policy against any municipality that had invested taxpayers' money without adhering to policy prescripts and law..." he said.

The lecture was organised by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Ngaka Modiri Molema region. Regional secretary Wessel Morweng said the league had make a mistake by electing Collin Maine as their president. "We made [an] election accident at Gallagher Convention Centre by [electing] Collen Maine, for us to correct things we must accept there are problems, we should not be in denial."

Morweng did not acknowledge the ANC's alliance partners or President Cyril Ramaphosa in his greeting, as is the tradition in the ANC, and instead acknowledged former president Jacob Zuma whom he referred to as president Zuma. He assured Mahumapelo of a third term as ANC chairman in the North West. "Comrade Mahumapelo remains our only Moses," he said to applause.

African News Agency/ANA