Tensions reached an all-time high in April in South Africa's North West Province when shops were looted and properties torched as protestors demanded that premier Supra Mahumapelo be removed from office. He was accused of maladministration and corruption. After more than two months of consideration, the ANC has announced that 70-year-old Job Mokgoro will take Mahumapelo's place as premier of the North West.
The decision comes after three other candidates, suggested by Mahumapelo, were rejected by the ANC National Executive Committee who then employed the national working committee to suggest candidates. Alliance partner, Sanco (the South African National Civic Organisation), has embraced the decision, describing Mokgoro as a "seasoned administrator and a man of integrity". However, Mokgoro's appointment comes with a lot of pressure and expectation with an anticipated cabinet reshuffle looming in the future.
Sanco has already stated that Mokgoro is expected to appoint a non-factional executive. "We further want to see that intervention in the reflection of the executive, to demonstrate that he does not have a political mandate from elsewhere," Sanco's Paul Sebegoe said.
However, the decision had not been completely unanimous as the ANC in the North West province is deeply divided, with Mahumapelo's doubters saying that the current executive, Mahumapelo, is controlled by his party which they deem as the reason for the failings within the province.
Although the ANC is divided on this decision, Mokgoro's appointment is the middle ground on which the party met as he is not part of the government. Sebegoe explained, "Mokgoro is a well-known, seasoned administrator who brings huge experience and the current government situation suits him very well as it is about fixing the administration. But he needs to demonstrate his impartiality through the composition of exco, to demonstrate that he is independent."
Job Mokgoro will be sworn in as a member of the provincial assembly on Friday.