PREMIER: Supra Mahumapelo

MAHIKENG - Under fire North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo on Tuesday ended his budget speech with a cryptic message that many have suggested was a clear signal of his imminent resignation.

"In the essence of the absence of the present" Mahumapelo said before adding that he would hand in "a letter" to the Speaker by Friday. He did not say what the letter would contain, but many assumed the premier had buckled under intense pressure and was resigning.

The North West has erupted violent protests in various areas where protesters are demanding the resignation of Mahumapelo whom they accuse of corruption. The premier has complained of threats against his life, which have been reported to the police.

Mahumapelo started his speech indicating it might be his last as a premier. 

He acknowledged the presence of his wife, Kule Mahumapelo and reminded her how a gun was put against his ribs while he was a student leader and told not to deliver a speech at a meeting.

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"As you could remember I continue with what I was supposed to do at that meeting."

African News Agency/ANA