Ramaphosa Foe to Quit as Head of South Africa's North West

(Bloomberg) -- Supra Mahumapelo said he will quit as premier of South Africa’s North West province following a spate of violent protests by community members demanding his resignation and access to government services.

Mahumapelo opposed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid to win control of the ruling African National Congress at a elective conference in December. His exit will help Ramaphosa strengthen his control over the party, which he narrowly won control of after a electoral battle with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Disgruntlement with Mahumapelo’s leadership has been mounting over his handling of a graft scandal and the sidelining of his ANC rivals in the North West.

Speculation that Mahumapelo was on the verge of resigning has mounted over recent days after several senior ANC leaders said they were discussing whether to remove him from his post. He confirmed his resignation in an interview with the state-owned South African Broadcasting Corp. He didn’t provide reasons for his decision, while his office said that a press conference to discuss the resignation has been postponed indefinitely, according to News24.

South Africa’s special police unit known as the Hawks said it raided Mahumapelo’s offices last month in connection with alleged maladministration, fraud and corruption amounting to about 160 million rand ($13 million).

Mahumapelo was a close ally of Jacob Zuma, who Ramaphosa replaced as the nation’s president in February, two months after winning control of the party.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.