The North West province is set to have a new premier by tomorrow, hence avoiding having to hold early elections.
The judge president of the Mahikeng High Court MM Leeuw late yesterday issued a notice convening the provincial legislature for the purposes of filling the post vacated by controversial ANC provincial chairman Supra Mahumapelo.
The legislature’s sitting would be proceeded by the meeting of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) where the party is expected to name its preferred candidate.
Electing a new premier has become urgent for the North West as the 30-day deadline for finding Mahumapelo’s replacement is next week.
In terms of the constitution, failure to elect a new premier by the end of 30 days after the resignation of a premier should lead to an early election.
The ANC was initially expected to name its preferred candidate following its national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Monday.
However Sowetan understands that the NEC refused to consider the names put before it by the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule as they had not first been canvassed with the NWC.
“All reports before the NEC have to be tabled at the NWC and the North West report was critical because the NWC would have made recommendations.
“The report was incomplete and we decided that the NWC should look at it on Wednesday [today] and announce on who will be the new premier before Friday,” said an NEC member who asked not to be named.
Luthuli House yesterday confirmed in a statement that the NWC will decide on the preferred candidate today.
“The Special NEC mandated the NWC to take a decision on the premier candidate by Thursday…” the party said.
The names submitted are those of former North West director-general Tebogo Job Mokgoro, ambassador Jerry Matjila and ANC acting provincial secretary and speaker of the legislature Suzan Dantjie.
Mahumapelo announced his “early retirement” as North West premier last month.
Dantjie said the national leadership was dealing with the issue of finding Mahumapelo’s replacement.
“It is no longer a provincial issue,” she said.
Mokgoro said he had learnt that his name has been submitted to the NEC.
“If I am asked to serve, given the state of affairs in the province I will be available.”
Some NEC members said the failure to present the report at the special NEC meeting would delay possible disbandment of the PEC.