Ally of ousted South African president Zuma steps down
Supra Mahumapelo’s resignation was seen as a victory for President Cyril Ramaphosa in a power struggle within the ruling ANC (African National Congress) ahead of elections next year.
North West province was brought to a standstill last month when residents took to the streets looting shops, burning cars and clashing with police in protests against Mahumapelo.
Mahumapelo had previously refused to step down despite a reported request from Ramaphosa, who has vowed to tackle corruption after taking office in February.
“I am going on early retirement,” Mahumapelo told reporters. “If I continue to stay in the office and I am also accused… it will be very difficult to avoid the accusation that you are abusing the office.”
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule welcomed Magashule’s resignation but dismissed suggestions of a purge of Zuma supporters.
“We support his move as it has been a difficult period,” Magashule said. “There is no purge.”
Ramaphosa earlier this month took the unprecedented step of taking the North West provincial administration under central government control.
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