14/05/2018 07:23 SAST | Updated 14/05/2018 07:23 SAST

North West Taken Over By National Government: Supra Fighting Back

Supra Mahumapelo plans to go on a province-wide "pilgrimage" to galvanise support, fearing criminal charges.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Then-president Jacob Zuma chats with North West premier Supra Mahumapelo before addressing the National Youth Day commemoration in Ventersdorp on June 16 last year.

Supra Mahumapelo is launching a fight-back campaign in North West, after his province was taken over by national government, Daily Maverick reports. The embattled North West premier, currently on "administrative leave" following weeks of violent protest, is reportedly embarking on a "pilgrimage" across the province to galvanise his supporters in the event that he should face criminal charges.

The Sunday Times reported this weekend that national government has taken over the administration of North West, while two-thirds of the province's municipalities have been taken over by the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa reportedly took the decision to take over the administration of the province after receiving a report by the interministerial committee, appointed to look into the province's problems, on Wednesday. The team was led by minister in the presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

According to Business Day, Dlamini-Zuma will announce details of the North West takeover on Tuesday. Her report to Cabinet was reportedly "scathing".

But it is not the placing of the province under administration that worries Mahumapelo — according to two sources who spoke to the Daily Maverick, he is afraid of the possibility of criminal charges.

A minister involved in the process reportedly told Daily Maverick that the province was placed under administration partly to cut off money flows to Mahumapelo.

"He is not scared of being put under administration. What he is worried about is what they will find and then the charges. The Hawks are not far away from him," a source reportedly said.

A Hawks source reportedly said that all of the corruption cases currently under investigation in the province "have Supra's hands in it some way..."

After mobilising support for himself amongst the branches, Mahumapelo reportedly plans to purge his detractors in the provincial legislature.