Premier Mokgoro has gone rogue, says North West ANC

Shady deployments, spying and questionable behaviour on the part of Premier Job Mokgoro has been detailed in a leaked 14-page complaint by the North West ANC's interim committee.

FILE: North West Premier Job Mokgoro. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - North West Premier Job Mokgoro is a law unto himself and runs a rogue unit in his office, which often spies on some of his executive committee members and senior politicians in the province, according to the African National Congress (ANC) in the platinum-rich province.

The interim provincial committee (IPC) has, in a 14-page document leaked to Eyewitness News, complained to the ANC’s officials and its national executive committee about Mokgoro’s behaviour over recent years.

The report composed in August last year also details numerous failed attempts to heal the rifts and to work better with the ANC’s deployee to government.

“Two intelligence officers are interfering with the appointment of senior officials in government, including the appointment of the heads of department and director general in the province,” writes IPC coordinator Hlomani Chauke in the document.

The report claims Mokgoro defended the appointment of the unnamed pair, saying they had been sent by former State Security Minister David Mahlobo to assist the province during the unrest in the lead up to former North West Premier and ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo’s downfall in 2018.

“The information that comrade Job Mokgoro shared with the party officials was that the quality of the information he receives from the [South African Police Service] intelligence in the province was very weak,” it said in the report, claiming the premier said the two provided inaccurate reports.

While the premier seemed to have no idea how the two were being paid, he also defended their rights to be involved with the party as they were “ANC members in their own rights”.

The two have also been accused of trying to lobby executive committee members on their own preferred candidates when it came to business interests in the province. This included appointment of leaders and procurement across both provincial and municipal structures.

Mokgoro, when called by Eyewitness News this week regarding the claims, dismissed them as lies.

“I really don’t know what this witch-hunt is about. I think they are in a better position to tell you about the rogue unit,” said Mokgoro, referring to the unnamed officials, adding that he was running his office in line with national norms and standards.

Mokgoro was temporarily suspended from the ANC last year, along with four other members, for voting against the party's preferred candidate for chair of chairs in the province.

When asked about Mokgoro's allegations that he sent the pair, Mahlobo refused to engage, saying he would answer to claims against him if concrete proof was put before him.

Mahlobo was not in the state security portfolio at the time, after being redeployed by then President Jacob Zuma to the Department of Energy in 2017.

Mahumapelo, who was also linked to the two individuals in the report, told Eyewitness News that he left the premiership in 2018 and didn’t understand why people continued to claim he had some hand in happenings there.

“Premier Mokgoro is fully capable of dealing with these matters, I am long purged, suffocated, throttled, evaporated and pushed to the political periphery,” he said in a WhatsApp message.

He also questioned why a criminal case was not opened against him if indeed there was evidence that he interfered, instead of political games being played using his name.

Instability in the North West

Several insiders have raised concerns about the state of the province, with some claiming instructions from the IPC were often ignored.

This was corroborated by the interim structure’s own report, which lists numerous instances where Mokgoro did not inform the organisation of decisions he undertook or simply ignored its preferences.

Examples included the appointments of board members for the North West transport investment without informing the ANC, invoking Section 139 (1) (a) of (b) of the Constitution to intervene in the Mamusa Municipality and appointing administrators without consulting the mother body.

“The party learned about the appointment of the [province's] acting director-general on the WhatsApp group created for exco members,” documented the IPC in the report.

Mokgoro is said to have ignored veterans deployed to his office as political advisers. Some who serve in the ANC’s veterans league were allegedly roped into to meet with the premier in 2019 when it became apparent that relations between the IPC and the premier were strained.

The premier, who took over on a temporary basis following Mahumapelo’s departure, was also accused of creating political instability. It is claimed he launched a campaign titled Self Liberation, which is said to be part of his personal campaign ahead of a much-anticipated provincial conference to elect new leadership.

“The Self Liberation campaign created the instability at the time of its launch as a result of the positions held by comrade Paul Sebego [ANC chief whip] and comrade Job Mokgoro,” detailed the report.

Earlier this week, the South African Communist Party in the North West called on the ANC’s national executive committee to urgently intervene in the province. It's provincial secretary, Madoda Sambatha, warned that the instability could have a dire impact on service delivery in the province.

The ANC at national level also said it was concerned about the state of the organisation and its government in the North West.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe told Eyewitness News not a single NEC meeting took place without issues in the province not being raised.

He said officials in the party had been tasked with assisting the province in its path towards an elective conference.

While the IPC confirmed it submitted a report on the state of the province, it refused to discuss details contained in the document, telling Eyewitness News it left it to the ANC at national level to assist in challenges the province faced.

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