A rather awkward photograph of Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina with the EFF’s Gauteng chairperson, Mandisa Mashego, led to her swiftly distancing herself from it on Monday.
The ANC’s Thabang Mashiyane uploaded two photos late on Monday, claiming they were evidence that both Mashego and the DA’s Gauteng premier candidate, Solly Msimanga, thought Masina was doing an “excellent and credible job” in leading his Rapid Land Release programme in the municipality.
The encounter appeared to take place following Gauteng premier David Makhura’s state of the province address, of which Masina was a big fan.
#Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor comrade @mzwandileMasina reacts to the #GPSOPA19 welcoming it as being a balanced account of the ANC delivery in the province in 25 years. #GrowSouthAfrica #PeoplesManifesto pic.twitter.com/0vJBkkUOvQ
— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) February 18, 2019
Many were then quick to point out that the EFF and DA were part of the opposition to the ANC in Ekurhuleni and it was highly unlikely that they thought Masina was as amazing as Mashiyane was claiming.
Mashego herself took mere minutes to say that the mayor had simply been opportunistic and had in effect draped himself all over her for the photo to be taken.
“Mzwandile hijacked a hug and a pic,” she said. “He could have asked nicely for a picture. He needs to answer for killing land activists in Ekurhuleni through Ekurhuleni Metro Police. The families of the slain victims are left without breadwinners. I can’t forgive that.”
This is opportunistic. Mzwandile hijacked a hug &, a pic. He could have asked nicely for a picture. He needs to answer for killing land activists in Ekurhuleni through Ekurhuleni Metro Police. The families of the slain victims are left without breadwinners. I can't forgive that https://t.co/yM8KIpDpQR
— Mandisa Mashego (@MandisaMashego) February 18, 2019
A number of areas in Ekurhuleni have been disputed land in recent times.
In Brakpan alone last year, numerous clashes over land took place, with people building shacks on municipal land since the beginning of 2017. Despite several attempts by the Metro Police and “red ants” to stop the occupation, which neighbours an area with upmarket houses, the occupations continued throughout the year.
The Brakpan municipality (which falls under the City of Ekurhuleni) said that people had to stop setting up shacks in the area because the municipality had other plans for the land.
An EFF member told GroundUp: “We have the right to occupy this land because it is the land of our ancestors, which was unfairly taken. We are not up for negotiations. We believe in expropriation of land without compensation. If the municipality wants to remove us they will have to kill us first.”
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)