President Cyril Ramaphosa has just arrived to convene an urgent meeting with ANC leaders in Mahikeng, where protests against North West premier Supra Mahumapelo have brought the town to a standstill.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially arrived for the ANC meeting in Mahikeng. @TeamNews24— Iavan Pijoos (@iavanpijoos) April 20, 2018
David Mabuza, Malusi Gigaba, Bheki Cele, Jessie Duarte were among the senior ANC members set to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Mahikeng, as violent protests demanding the removal of North West premier Supra Mahumapelo show no signs of slowing down.
We have just been told. The presidential motorcade that arrived was David Mabuza and Not President Cyril Ramaphosa. But we are told the president has arrived in #MahikengProtests— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 20, 2018
Obed Bapela said the meeting was yet to start, as the president had not arrived yet. EWN also reported that Mahumapelo had arrived, but the meeting could not get started until the president joined them.
Violence in Mahikeng resulted in Minister of Police Bheki Cele addressing the people of Mmabatho on Friday morning, and asking to hear their grievances. President Cyril Ramaphosa is also in Mahikeng trying to calm tensions
"I am here to listen," said Cele to residents int he suburb of Danville, trying to find out what had caused the outrage.
Danville residents insisted, "We are not part and parcel of the people who are protesting," – but complained about excessive police abuse during protests. Cele says he will sort those issues out, as residents singled out specific police officers and described how they had allegedly mistreated citizens.
Allegations of private mayoral bodyguards shooting the vulnerable – the elderly and disabled – also surfaced, and claims that racist names like "Boesman" ["Bushman"; a derogatory reference to Khoisan people] were being used to insult residents.
Cele promised to return in two weeks to probe the allegations – and police handling of the crisis in general.
President Ramaphosa curtailed his trip to London to return on Thursday night, and is scheduled to speak to the people of Mahikeng at around 12 noon.