Currently the Premier of the
North-West Province, Mahumapelo was born in Manamolela village near
Delareyville in the then Western Transvaal, but now part of the North West
Province. He began his formal education at Marotse Primary School, close to his
village, and later moved to Tlotlego Middle School in Atamelang Township, also a
few kilometres from his village. He then went to Phatsima High School in
Atamelang and Kgamanyane High in Moruleng, where he matriculated in 1988.
After matriculation, Mahumapelo
acquired a National Diploma in Commercial Practice (NDCom) at the former
Technikon Northern Transvaal (TNT) in Soshanguve, Gauteng. Subsequently, he
acquired a Certificate in Public Finance and Economics from the University of
South Africa, and an MA in Political Economy the University of Port Elizabeth.
During the mid-1980’s, Mahumapelo
became interested in politics when he met with the late Victor Sefora, then leader
of the opposition Seoposengwe Party in Bophuthatswana. Seoposengwe was at the
time a front for the African National Congress in Bophuthatswana. In 1986,
Mahumapelo met with, Ndleleni Duma, a young politician from Potchefstroom who
convinced him to begin recruiting new membership for the ANC, beginning with
the Moruleng area. In 1989, soon after enrolling at the TNT, he joined the
South African National Students Congress (SANSCO – now SASCO) in which he
served in various roles. In 1990, he was expelled from TNT, together with other
students for anti-apartheid political activity and got arrested several times
by the security police for political work.
In 1994, he was the ANC’s Deputy
Provincial Elections Coordinator, based in Klerksdorp. In 1995, he moved to
Mafikeng where he later got elected as the ANC Chairperson for the Mmabatho
Branch. In 1998, he was elected Provincial Chairperson of the ANC Youth League
in the North West Province. Seven years later, in 2002, he was elected to the
Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC. In 2005, he was elected as the
ANC Provincial Secretary. Following the chaotic May 2008 Sun City conference convened
to choose new members of the PEC and overseen by members of the NEC, the PEC
was dissolved. There was a great deal of infighting, acrimony and factionalism
within the PEC. Consequently, the political affairs of the province were taken
over by a provincial task team formed by the NEC. Seventeen months later, in
February 2011, in a better organised provincial elective conference held in
Rustenburg than the earlier Sun City debacle, Mahumapelo was elected
chairperson of the provincial ANC, with China Dodovu as his deputy.
In February 2012, he became a
member of the North West Provincial Legislature and Chairperson of the
Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development. A year later, he was
elected ANC Chief Whip, but resigned from the position the same year, when he was
elected as Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature. He became Premier
of the province from May 2014.
Mahumapelo and his wife, Christina Kgari, have
four children and a grandson. A talented singer with a few albums to his name,
Mahumapelo is also a successful entrepreneur.