Mzwandile Masina: ‘You can arrest us all, but…’

Mzwandile Masina: ‘You can arrest us all, but…’

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina.

The way the Ekurhuleni mayor then continued with that statement has raised many an eyebrow.

Following a shopping list of arrests by the Hawks, including ANC MP and former minister of state security Bongani Bongo, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina weighed in on what has been a particularly black Thursday for the ANC and its deployees accused of corruption and state capture.

The Hawks’ investigation unit arrested Bongo for trying to disrupt a parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom on October 10, 2017. The former state security minister appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Thursday and was released on R5,000 bail.

Nine people, believed to be high-ranking government officials and businesspeople – were arrested by the Hawks in several provinces, including Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, on charges of corruption.

The arrests were linked to the awarding of a R630 million tender to the Siyenza Group to build 66,000 toilets in the Eastern Cape district, with proper procurement procedures allegedly not followed in 2015.

Several ANC officials have been accused of being linked to Siyenza Group.

In a report released by the office of the public protector, it was found that there was improper conduct and maladministration involved in the awarding of the tender.

Goodman Ntandazo Vimba, the CEO of the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department’s Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, was later also nabbed.

The spate of arrests saw Masina controversially tweeting: You can arrest us all, but our ideas are superior and represent [the] aspiration of [the] poor majority. Until we commit to a united the organisation, we will continue embarrassing each other whilst poverty, inequality [and] unemployment finishes our people.”

The tweet grabbed the attention of many on social media, including that of EFF leader Julius Malema, who appeared rather unimpressed by Masina’s remark.

Masina had famously said he would refuse to serve under President Cyril Ramaphosa, only to later conveniently forget that vow, making his comment about a commitment “to a united organisation” another questionable one for critics.

He received instant criticism.

(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko. Background reporting, Daniel Friedman)

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