Exposed on all fronts, and with his powerful friend out of the Union Buildings, Supra Mahumapelo has run out of options and has nowhere to run. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya
The clearest sign that Supra Mahumapelo's goose is cooked was on April 11 when one of his close allies, ANC Youth League president Collen Maine, made a dramatic confession.

It was at a memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela that Maine - who with Mahumapelo was a big supporter of former president Jacob Zuma before the ANC conference at Nasrec in December - said he was not introduced to the disgraced Gupta brothers by Zuma.

A solemn-faced Maine said: “Mama Winnie never went to the Guptas like some of us did and we did not take ourselves there. I was not taken by Zuma - the person who took me there was Supra Obakeng Mahumapelo.”

Maine was saying: you are on your own.

Exposed on all fronts, and with his powerful friend out of the Union Buildings, Mahumapelo has run out of options. He has nowhere to run. The sun has set for him. He will in due course face the music for his alleged wheeling and dealing in a province that he controlled as his fiefdom.

The ANC North West provincial chairperson has been dogged by a long list of scandals, ranging from tender irregularities and his "proud friendship" with the controversial Gupta family.

Antagonism among the common people against him runs deep. The latest round of the Social Attitudes Survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council shows that public trust in local municipal government in the North West province has dropped dramatically since 1998 - from 56% under then premier Popo Molefe to 18% last year under Mahumapelo.

All this mistrust is pinned on Mahumapelo, in office since May 2014 until he dramatically resigned on Tuesday evening, only to rescind his decision yesterday. But he's a dead man walking.

Residents of Mahikeng, exasperated by his litany of scandals, blunders and dismal failures, went on an orgy of destruction last month. The South African Military Health Service was deployed on April 20 at hospitals in the area, where union members have been striking at hospitals and clinics for more than two months.

The provincial health department, torn apart by maladministration, is now under national administration, and President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered an inter-ministerial task team to investigate the crisis in the province.

Surely, public anger is justified. Mahumapelo's exit is fait accompli, and the ANC will have to choose carefully who replaces him.

Fixing his mess will be a massive task.

The Star

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