Cyril Ramaphosa leaves London as protests erupt in South Africa

FILE ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule

Ramaphosa cut short his participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London to handle the ongoing protests in the province.

Police fired rubber bullets as protesters hid behind cardboard sheets, while roads were littered with burning tyres and bricks that had been thrown through the air.

Ramaphosa has called for calm and adherence to the rule of law in the province and has called on all aggrieved parties to express their grievances through peaceful means and engagement rather than violence and anarchy, Diko said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to move with speed to resolve the issued in protest-hit Mahikeng‚ but said government and the ANC would not make any hasty decisions.

The trigger for the unrest was reportedly the death on Tuesday of two patients at a health clinic that was closed due to a month-long dispute over health workers' salaries and contracts.

Protests began in the North West province on Wednesday as demonstrators demanded the resignation of provincial Premier Supra Mahumapelo - a member of Ramaphosa's governing African National Congress (ANC).

"The NWBF warns that should Mahumapelo not resign, the Mahikeng protests will spiral to other parts of the province, causing irreparable damage to the economy and political stability of the province".

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Mokgwabone said protesters had also looted several shops, mostly belonging to foreign nationals.

"Very poor people are in dire need.

We're now involved by bringing all the players here in Mahikeng to come and listen once more so the ANC can then make a determination on what is the next step that can save the situation of the North West. that people can be happy that at least, finally there's something that the ANC is doing", he said.

"The health system has completely collapsed. The nonchalant attitude of the ruling party ANC towards this cancer called corruption is insulting to our struggle as a nation", said provincial convener Dr Thabo Bapela. Mahumapelo is a supporter of Jacob Zuma, who Ramaphosa ousted as the nation's president in February.

Growth had been weak and unemployment painfully high as Zuma's leadership was dogged by years of corruption allegations.

Zuma appeared in court earlier this month at a preliminary hearing on graft charges that he denies.


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