NW protests led by ‘business forum’

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The violent protests causing mayhem in Mahikeng are allegedly being led by the North West Business Forum, the ANC in the province claimed.

ANC provincial spokesperson Gerald Modise told The New Age yesterday that a group called the “Anti-Supra Mahumapelo coalition” sought to destabilise the province for their own selfish interests.

“Some of them are members of the ANC, we know them. Some of them are members of the provincial legislature and members of the opposition in the legislature,” Modise said.

Mahumapelo said in his term as premier he prioritised rural development and township renewal and that had angered some individuals.

“There are some people who have benefited for more than 22 years in the provincial government. Most of them come from Gauteng and Limpopo so they are not happy,” Mahumapelo said.

He said what was happening in Mahikeng was not about the people of the area but rather the radical approaches his administration had tried to bring about.

“Since I announced aggressive programmes in the state of the province address to deal with corruption since 1994 up till now, people have decided to stand up and fight that programme,” he said.

The ANC in the province called the chaotic protests an act of political opportunism under the guise of community outrage. “This is the main call of those who have been quoted in the media attacking ANC provincial chairperson Mahumapelo using untested allegations of corruption,” the ANC said.

The protests the party said were a well-coordinated campaign because of a deep-seated hatred for Mahumapelo.

“We condemn the violence, torching and damage to property by protesters and want to make it clear that this is unacceptable,” the party said.

hlonim@thenewage.co.za

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