Johannesburg – The preferred ANC North West’s premier-elect Bushy Maape looks set to wait for a few more weeks before being sworn-in.
This is because incumbent Premier Job Mokgoro has yet to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa about his exit plan.
It is understood that Mokgoro has informed senior ANC leaders, including deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and national treasurer Paul Mashatile, about his intention to resign as premier – after the provincial ANC leadership last week announced Maape as their preferred choice to replace Mokgoro.
Insiders told Independent Media that the delay was due to the ANC’s provincial leadership under Hlomane Chauke, claiming that Mokgoro had failed to deal with the errant leadership at local municipalities, which were placed under administration.
Aggrieved by the remarks, Mokgoro is said to have demanded an apology from the ANC North West leadership, over their comments about his alleged failure to reign in rogue municipalities.
Learning of Mokgoro’s exit conditions, Chauke apologised, but that has proved not to be enough to meet demands by the embattled premier.
In his apology, Chauke only apologised for the manner in which the decision to redeploy him (Mokgoro) may have been handled by the provincial leadership.
The North West ANC leadership failed to retract comments about Mokgoro’s alleged inability to act against the municipalities – which deepened tensions.
North West ANC legislature members confirmed that Mokgoro was still of the view that the ANC provincial leadership owes him an apology and had to retract the “inflammatory claims” against him.
“It is for that reason that the premier asked to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa about this matter before he could step down as premier. He was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Ramaphosa is his boss. It was premature for the ANC to pronounce on the matter,” said a source, who asked to remain anonymous.
The source further said: “The exit of Premier Mokgoro is not urgent. If it was urgent, the President would have acted by now. It is not urgent.
“I think the premier is looking for a proper apology. He will step down as premier, but remain as a member of the legislature,” the source said.
Other sources said if Mokgoro remains in the legislature, the ANC would still not be able to put Maape in the legislature, as no vacancies were available.
“There won’t be any vacancy. The only time the party can replenish its list is in October. This is done annually. So Maape will have to wait until October. Even if he waits, the leadership must get someone to resign from the provincial legislature,” one of the sources said.
All of them ruled out a meeting between Mokgoro and Ramaphosa this week, due to the President’s commitments.
Ramaphosa was in Zambia on Tuesday, to attend the inauguration of the new Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.
On Wednesday, Ramaphosa travelled to Germany to attend a G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) meeting in Berlin, on Thursday and on Friday.
Ramaphosa has been invited by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. The G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) was initiated under the G20 German Presidency, in 2017, to promote private investment into the African continent.
It is not clear when Ramaphosa is due back in the country.
Mokgoro’s office referred all inquiries to the ANC.
The party, however, has already confirmed that Mokgoro will step down as premier after meeting Ramaphosa.