South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is returning home –
after cutting short his visit to the UK to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London – to intervene in the protests in the North West province.
Ramaphosa and an NEC delegation are expected to visit Mahikeng on Friday afternoon amid growing calls for the removal of Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, who’s been accused of corruption and maladministration.
Shops have been plundered and properties torched while, on Thursday, a man died after the vehicle he was travelling in crashed into looters trying to escape authorities.
Tensions remain high after a night of running battles between protesters and police officers. Friday is the third day of violent protests which have caused businesses to close and schools to be disrupted.
Police confirmed one death and at least 23 arrested while reporting firing rubber bullets at the violent protestors.
The ANC Women’s League in the province says it’s "... concerned that young children are being used to advance a political agenda", while the ANCYL has described the protests as "a barbaric campaign orchestrated by party members seeking to overthrow Mahumapelo".
Those in the ruling party who disagree with Mahumapelo, the self-proclaimed Revolutionary Council, take no responsibility for the violence but say "it’s time the national leadership recognises the seriousness of the problems in the province" although, the ANC in the North West has pleaded with the community for space to investigate allegations of corruption against him.
The ANC’s Boy Noko says: “Those members calling for him [Mahumapelo] to step down are the ones responsible for that section.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters' Thabo Sehloho has said: "it’s clear that the premier is involved in corrupt activities".
“The premier arranged a trip for him to India and Thabo Lekalakala confessed that Mahumapelo influences him to appoint Mediosa, which means the premier is involved in corrupt activities.”