Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina has been reprimanded by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) following an explosive social media rant on Monday night.
In addition to having his Twitter account deactivated, Masina, who serves as the ANC's chairperson in Ekurhuleni, is liable to face internal disciplinary procedures after challenging party structures on a public platform. ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that Masina's outbursts were not aligned with the party's official position.
Mzwandile Masina agrees with Julius Malema
The trouble between Masina and the ruling party began on Sunday, when the Ekurhuleni mayor voiced his support for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema. Masina said that the opposition party's call for nationalisation and the dismantling of the "white economy" was an ethos fit for endorsement. Masina took to Twitter, saying:
"I fully agree with my friend on this one Julius Malema. Until we nationalise all commanding heights of the economy – we need to restart this economy and make sure it favours the majority. This can't be sane again."
Naturally, Masina's comments in support of another political party's policies garnered fierce condemnation from the ANC. It's alleged that Masina was reprimanded for his initial comments.
Read: Mzwandile Masina claims he's being followed by gun-toting private eye
'Kill me if you can, I fear no one'
This warning pushed Masina's defiance into overdrive. On Monday evening, the mayor, once again, voiced his frustrations on Twitter. In a post that a since been deleted as a result of a deactivated Twitter account, Masina lashed out at the ruling party for attempting to curry favour with 'white monopoly capital (WMC)'.
Masina argued that he was willing to forfeit his position as mayor of Ekurhuleni and abandon the ANC in order to preserve his views, saying:
"I can be removed tomorrow as mayor I'll accept without hesitation. I'm not a coward. I'm ready ANC I won't ask you why. What I won't do is to be friends with WMC. My views are more important than being gag [sic] by whites. I'm not a coward. Kill me if you can, I fear no one."
Masina added that he was ready to "stand down" for his radical policies of nationalisation and even called on the official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), to "take me with".
Shortly after the outburst, Masina's Twitter account was deactivated and the ANC issued a public statement on the matter, condemning the Ekurhuleni mayor's outburst.
To those who missed it... pic.twitter.com/YSCptNWgmy— Sanele_ (@Sydwell75394556) June 1, 2020
ANC tells members to be 'cautious' on social media
The ruling party called on all members to be "cautious" of what was promulgated on social media, using Masina's outburst as an example of what not to do as a representative of the ANC. The statement noted:
"The recent post by Regional Chairperson of the ANC in Ekurhuleni, Comrade Mzwandile Masina, on nationalisation of the economy falls outside the confines of our policy position.
While the views were expressed on a personal account, it stands to confuse our constituency and members as to what the ANC stands for. It is expected of ANC leaders to act with care and be cautious at all times on matters of policy."
The statement added that resolutions reached during the ANC's 54th national conference at Nasrec in 2017 needed to be adhered to at all times. The statement went on to list fundamental aspects of ANC policy which oppose nationalisation.
Malema has come out in defence of Masina, accusing the ANC of gagging members with opposing views. The EFF leader said:
"They suspended the Twitter Acc of Mzwandile Masina because they can't tolerate the radical views of the black man. I know you belong to them Zwai but never trust these ANC people, young independent thinkers have always threatened them. Never be discouraged black child."