Finance MEC Wendy Nelson. Picture: Supplied/North West Provincial Government

Mahikeng - North West Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development MEC Wendy Nelson has been appointed the acting premier of the province, the Office of the Premier confirmed on Wednesday. 

Nelson was appointed by embattled Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who is taking a leave of absence. 

Premier spokesperson Brian Setswambung confirmed the appointment, adding that her temporary appointment is with immediate effect. 

It remains unclear how long Mahumapelo is expected to be on leave. 

Nelson's appointment comes after the African National Congress (ANC) Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in the North West announced that Mahumapelo was "going nowhere" but would instead take leave and appoint an acting premier. 

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The PEC met earlier on to discuss the resignation of the embattled leader at Embassy House in Mahikeng.

The urgent meeting was convened following Mahumapelo's announcement that he would resign as the North West premier on Wednesday, a decision he backtracked on shortly afterwards, stating that his structure called him to consult with the PEC on the decision.

Following this, the ANC North West retracted a statement issued accepting Mahumapelo’s decision to resign.

"There was no proper engagement by the PEC on the matter, as the ANC leadership that decided on the party’s deployment of Cde Supra to the premier position. The PEC has instructed Cde Supra to withdraw his resignation comments and any process thereof, until proper consultations have been exhausted," she said.

"It is therefore appropriate for the PEC after its meeting to retract a statement issued on Tuesday night on behalf of the PEC accepting Cde Supra’s decision to exit his deployment position. We regret the inconvenience caused by last night’s statement, which should have ideally waited until the PEC had met, like it did today [Wednesday]."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) meanwhile, said it was shocking that Nelson was appointed acting premier 

"MEC Nelson has shown her abilities at the department of finance and enterprise development, where she failed dismally. There is no trust in her integrity, given that she is an open supporter and ally of Supra. Both were in Dubai on an unexplained trip, at the expense of the people's money," said provincial leader Joe McGluwa.

Additional reporting by ANA