ANC Ekurhuleni chairperson and mayor Mzwandile Masina has been gagged and forced by the party to withdraw his offending statement, but he remains a powerful figure in the ANC.
Masina drew his party’s ire this week, after agreeing with EFF leader Julius Malema’s suggestion to “let the white economy collapse” on social media.
Masina’s tweet, posted on Sunday, was contrary to the ANC party policy and Luthuli House took exception to it through a strongly worded statement. The party immediately issued its unprecedented social media policy in which it warned members and leadership to be cautious when communicating on social media.
Members were warned to limit their public pronouncements only to approved policies as there were internal platforms to engage on policy positions that had not been approved.
Luthuli House said Masina’s “collapse the white economy” statement fell outside the party policy positions.
“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,” a statement issued by Luthuli House earlier said.
Masina, an ardent follower of former President Jacob Zuma, is infamous for having declared he would resign if Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as ANC leader at the Nasrec ANC conference, before backtracking on his promise.
This week the Ekurhuleni ANC regional executive committee (REC) summoned Masina to a virtual special meeting to answer for his transgression and told him to withdraw his statement, which he has since deleted from Twitter.
Masina and other REC members were asked not to raise ANC policy positions and views without attaching perspectives, and to refrain from making statements that bordered on transgression of what the ANC stood for.
“The REC however expressed a firm view that discussions on economic policies or any other policy content must be articulated in line and consistent with the ANC policy positions, principles and constitutional prescripts. The REC provided political counsel to the Regional Chairperson, or the REC as a whole to raise and confine views within the policy position of the ANC,” TK Nciza, regional secretary said in an REC statement.
“In this regard, any perspective or idea that supports the collapse of the economy is not a policy position of the ANC.”
He said instead the REC was of the view that the ANC-led government must continue to advance radical socio-economic transformation in an effort to change the country’s economic landscape and the unjust imbalances.
ANC Gauteng leadership endorsed the REC decision and welcomed Masina’s withdrawal of his Twitter statement. The PEC condemned public spats and statements that contradicted ANC policy and decisions.
Provincial secretary, Jacob Khawe said the matter was now officially closed and Masina would be given space to execute his ANC and mayoral duties.
Masina has in the past shown that he wielded considerable power within the ANC in Gauteng, despite being only a regional leader. He is allegedly an untouchable because his region, Ekurhuleni, is among those with the highest number of delegates at ANC provincial conferences.