ANC vows to work around the clock to resolve political impasse in Mahikeng
The ANC has vowed to try and resolve the political impasse that has seen violence erupt around Mahikeng, in the North West as calls for embattled Premier Supra Mahumapelo's removal gain momentum.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe addressed the media just after 19:00 reassuring them that President Cyril Ramaphosa would address the nation as soon as meetings had concluded.
"We are not going to leave the North West with not having the president spoken to the people."
Speaking outside the venue where the meetings were being held, Mabe urged community members to go home and watch the president's address from home.
He added that the party's leagues and alliance partners had already made presentations during the meeting.
Earlier, the ANC said its National Working Committee was expected to discuss Mahumapelo's fate on Monday after meeting with structures in the province on Friday.
The meeting got underway late on Friday afternoon after Ramaphosa cut short his trip to London where he was attending the Commonwealth heads of state summit.
The meeting is expected to continue till late as Ramaphosa, other top six officials and National Executive committee members try to intervene in the political impasse.
Violence has continued in the capital Mafikeng as protestors take to the streets to demand that Mahumapelo resign or be recalled by the party's leadership.
"The fact that the president had to cut his UK trip short, shows you the seriousness of this issue," Mabe said while addressing media at the Heritage House in Mahikeng.
He said the various structures had already begun raising their issues.
Mahumapelo was due to face a vote of no confidence earlier this week, however, it was postponed after the Economic Freedom Fighters went to court demanding that the Speaker allow a secret ballot.
Some ANC MPLs had told News24 at the time that there were enough members to ensure that the opposition's motion to oust him succeeded.
National Executive Committee members including Bheki Cele, Senzo Mchunu, Obed Bapela and Malusi Gigaba are some of the senior members attending the tense meeting on Friday.
The party has also extended the invite to Mahumapelo's biggest detractors who once served in the provincial executive including China Dodovu and former leaders in an effort to find solutions.
Alliance partners SANCO, COSATU and SACP and the party's women and youth leagues are also in the meeting. "We will involve as many people as possible so that they are also part of contributing to those resolutions."
Protests against Mahumapelo brought the town to a standstill on Thursday as burning tyres and rocks were used to barricade the road.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Adele Myburgh said 16 people had been arrested since the protests started.
Mabe said the ANC would never promote the destruction of public property. - News24
Ramaphosa promises speedy but rational decisions on Mahikeng matters
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday evening assured residents of protest-stricken Mahikeng and the greater North West that government and ANC officials were working with urgency to resolve the issues that had been raised.
Addressing a media briefing in Mahikeng, he said they had had extensive input on challenges and problems from various parties, including members of the legislature, the provincial executive committee and Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
He said the "serious" issues raised concerned the position of the premier, governance and corruption in the province.
"Having listened to all the inputs, we have decided we would like to engage further with a number of people, particularly members of the community here in Mahikeng and the North West," he said.
"These matters clearly will be discussed in government and also on a governing party level."
Ramaphosa said the issues would be analysed so that rational decisions could be made.
"This is the way we work. We want to base our decisions on evidence, proper analysis and evaluation, so when we come to a decision, we have looked at everything from all sides."
Violence erupted in Mahikeng when protesters took to the streets to demand that Mahumapelo resign or be recalled by the party's leadership.
Ramaphosa cut short his trip to London, where he was attending the Commonwealth heads of state summit, to convene an urgent meeting in the town on Friday.
He said they would act speedily but was not able to give an exact time frame at present.
To residents of Mahikeng and the province, he called for calm and desisting from violence and destruction of property.
"This matter is going to be resolved. It is only when we discuss matters in an orderly manner, and deal with them in that way that we are able to find solutions. Let us be calm, let us revert to a position of normalcy as we address this matter and reach finality."