JOHANNESBURG-- The Premier of South Africa's North West Province, Supra Mahumapelo, says he has decided to take early retirement amidst allegations of widespread corruption in the province.

Mahumapelo made the announcement at the African National Congress (ANC)'s headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg Wednesday. However, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule later clarified that Mahumapelo had resigned.

The North West was rocked by violent protests recently against Mahumapelo amidst accusations he was fostering widespread corruption in the province.

At his media conference at Luthuli House, Mahumapelo outlined what he claims was long-term issues of corruption in the province which preceded his administration. He also said he did not want to be accused of being a counter-revolutionary in the party.

There are two reasons why I am going on early retirement. The first reason is to say while these investigations that are taking place, if they take place in my presence, there will be an accusation that I am using the office to protect myself," he told the media.

"The second reason is the organization in the province is going to attend to this counter revolution, and if I continue to stay as the Premier when some of the counter revolutionaries are embedded in a programme disguised as a revolutionary council and so on, I will also be accused of using my position in government for self-defence.

Following Mahumapelo's announcement, Magashule simplified the details of Mahumapelo's resignation.

Let me just put it in simple terms, no parables. Comrade Supra is today resigning as the premier of North West and I think in that process, he is assisting the ANC to deal with all challenges which we are supposed to deal with so that he doesn't become an obstacle to solving whatever problems," Magashule said.

"We are very happy and we support his move as the ANC. It has been a very difficult time and period but the fact that he has offered, voluntarily so, to come here and say to the ANC that I am prepared to resign is a great thing to do as a leader."