'Controversial' tweet, 'silencing' & resignation threats — what you need to know about Mzwandile Masina drama
This week started on a rocky note for Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina after his controversial tweet supporting Julius Malema's views on the economy got him into trouble with the ruling party.
Here's what happened and why tweeps are talking about him:
Sunday — Masina supports Malema's 'radical' views
Masina tweeted a picture of a newspaper headline quoting EFF leader Julius Malema as saying: “Let the white economy collapse.” Malema had criticised the easing of the lockdown during an EFF media briefing one week ago.
He said people must defy the easing of the lockdown to level 3, even if it collapses the economy. He said the lockdown decision was not based on scientific evidence and would lead to more people spreading and contracting Covid-19, TimesLIVE reported.
Monday — ANC responds, Masina hits back
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe released a statement saying Masina's views were not in line with the party's policy position. He urged party leaders to exercise their right to freedom of speech within the confines of the ANC structures.
In response to the statement, Masina went on a Twitter rant, saying he would not be “gagged”, while threatening to resign from the ANC as he stood firm in his view, according to TimesLIVE.
Shortly after, Masina's Twitter account was deactivated.
Monday — Malema warns Masina against ANC leaders
They suspended the Twitter Acc of @mzwandileMasina because they can't tolerate the radical views of the black man. I know you belong to them Zwai but never trust these @MYANC people, young independent thinkers have always threatened them. Never be discouraged black child— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) June 1, 2020
Tuesday — Screenshots of Masina's resignation threats
Ekurhuleni regional spokesperson Sunnyboy Masingi told TimesLIVE that the party leadership had planned a meeting in which Masina was expected to explain his tweets.
TimesLIVE also reported that there were screen shots from an ANC WhatsApp group, which revealed that Masina maintained his willingness to resign as the mayor, saying he will not be “party to factional arrangement” as he is “honest” and “not a coward”.
Tuesday — Masina backtracks on threat to resign
After a meeting with the ANC leadership, Masina elected to withdraw his threat to resign from the party. According to TimesLIVE, the top leadership managed to convince him to stay.
Masina's Twitter account has be reactivated.