EFF to challenge Mahumapelo’s leave, appointment of acting premier

The EFF has instructed its lawyers to begin the process of challenging the controversial decision which many have dubbed illegal.

FILE: North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it has decided to challenge the decision by North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to take a leave of absence and appoint an acting premier in court.

The party says that Mahumapelo has no legal basis for the decision.

The EFF has instructed its lawyers to begin a process of challenging the controversial decision which many have dubbed illegal.

They claim that the African National Congress (ANC) decision that he not resigned as premier but take leave from office makes no sense.

EFF North West provincial secretary Betty Diale says they want the court to invalidate the appointment of MEC Wendy Nelson as acting premier.

“The worst thing is he takes leave but he’s still in the province. He appoints an acting premier, he can’t do that. Acting premier can only be appointed by the premier if he leaves the country for someone else to lead on his behalf.”

The EFF’s opinion of the decision is shared by the ANC’s alliance partners, South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Sanco.

WATCH: Supra Mahumapelo placed on leave


President Cyril Ramaphosa has not officially heard why Mahumapelo has gone on leave indefinitely at a time when the provincial government prepares for greater intervention to stablise the troubled province.

The president’s office confirmed that they are yet to get any formal correspondence from the premier's office.

While the Constitution doesn’t call for a premier to disclose their whereabouts to the president, it's considered courtesy and established practice for provincial leaders to discuss with the president when they are due to take a leave of absence.

Ramaphosa’s office said they have not heard anything from Mahumapelo after he went on leave on Wednesday and appointed Finance MEC Wendy Nelson to act in his place.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said as head of government, the president was not informed.

“He is the head of the executive and in this instance, it would be courtesy for the premier to inform the president, but we don’t have any official correspondence at this point.”

Ramaphosa, as ANC leader, instructed Mahumapelo to resign from office but he has since defied this.

There has been no word from the ANC’s top leaders on the defiance by Mahumapelo and the provincial party.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)