MAHIKENG, May 8 – The Office of the Premier in North West must continue to co-operate with the Hawks investigators, African National Congress (ANC) member of the provincial legislature, Tsotso Tlhap, said on Tuesday.
“We as the ANC are happy that the Office of the Premier is cooperating with the Hawks, continue cooperating. It is only the ANC that can uproot corruption,” she said during the budget vote of the Office of the Premier.
Earlier in March the Hawks – South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation – raided the office of the premier and the department of finance, economy and enterprise development.
At the time, the Hawks in the North West said it had conducted a search and seizure operation at the offices of the North West Premier following investigations in relation to alleged maladministration, fraud and corruption involving about R160 million.
Commenting on the matter on Tuesday during his budget speech Mahumapelo said opposition parties were misleading the public that his office was raided, while “in fact it was the office of the director of supply chain which were raided”.
He called appeal for calm in the province, saying people have the right to protest, as long as it is peaceful. “Let us not use violence, let us not loot, let us not displaced foreigners,” he said. There had been a wave of violent protests through the North West province calling for Mahumapelo to resigned.
He started his speech by showering his wife, Kule Mahumapelo, with praises and reminding her of their student leader days when a gun was put against his head so that he should not speak at a student meeting. “I continued as if nothing happened,” he said.
He told the legislature that his wife decided only to attend the state of the province address and not other sittings. He did not explain his wife’s presence at the budget vote sitting.
Concluding his speech, Mahumapelo hinted he might resign stating that he would hand over a letter to the speaker before Friday this week.
“It is therefore in this context of creating the essence of the absence of presence, that in full compliance with the Constitution of the Republic, the Speaker will receive a commitment in writing before Friday this week.”