Mzwandile Masina's Twitter account deactivated following ANC rebuke
Ekurhuleni mayor had dared party to remove him for his 'radical views'
Mzwandile Masina's Twitter account was deactivated shortly after he dared the ANC to fire him for his "radical" views on nationalisation.
In the space of about an hour, the ANC issued a statement rebuking the Ekurhuleni mayor for his comments on Twitter, in which he voiced support for EFF leader Julius Malema.
Masina's response was to call on the ANC to remove him from office rather than gag him.
"I stand firm in the nationalisation of commanding heights," he tweeted.
He even tagged the DA, asking the official opposition party to "take me".
The ANC had called Masina out for a tweet on Sunday pledging support for Malema's call for the "white economy" to fall.
On Sunday morning Masina, who is also the regional chairperson of the ANC in Ekurhuleni, tweeted a newspaper article headlined "Let the white economy collapse, says Malema".
He captioned the post: “I fully agree with my friend on this one @Julius_S_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.”
'Not what the ANC stands for'
In a statement on Monday evening, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said Masina's post on the nationalisation of the economy fell outside the confines of the party's 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,” he said.
Leaders of the ANC feed into the narrative of policy uncertainty when they publicly canvas positions outside the formal structures, said Mabe.
“We therefore encourage members of the ANC to exercise their freedom of speech within the confines of ANC structures,” he added.
He said the party appealed to its members and leadership to be cautious about what gets communicated on social media - and that the ANC had guided members to limit public pronouncements to approved policies.
Mabe said the ANC resolved at its 54th national conference at Nasrec in 2017 that South Africa should act urgently to reignite economic growth. He said active steps to achieve accelerated economic growth include:
- uniting government, labour, business and communities in an investment pact;
- isolating and rooting out corrupt elements in the public and private sectors;
- stabilising the governance and finances of state-owned companies; and
- ensuring that they play a developmental role.
Other steps include:
- ensuring a measured and balanced path of macroeconomic management;
- working to avoid further downgrades to South Africa’s credit rating and regain an investment grade; and
- regulating uncompetitive structures and conduct in the economy.
“The ANC strongly believe that this remains the best roadmap to economic emancipation, necessary to bring down the high levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment,” said Mabe.
“We are confident that the current team that has been deployed in government under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa will implement our policies as mandated by the national conference.
“This team will provide the mid-term review report at the national general council and the membership will be afforded an opportunity to make inputs at that level.”
'I fear nothing'
Shortly after the ANC published its statement, Masina took to Twitter to state that he was ready to stand down for his radical views. He went as far as daring the ANC to remove him as its mayor for his views on nationalisation.
"I fear nothing, if I'm isolated for radical views," he said.
He called on the DA to "take me".
"I'm not a coward," he said, adding: "There is no way my ANC views can be misunderstood in my organisation. I stand firm on the nationalisation of commanding heights.
"I can be removed tomorrow as mayor - I'll accept without hesitation. I'm not a coward, I'm ready.
"I won't ask you why. What I won't do is to be friend of WMC [white monopoly capital]. My views are more important than being gagged by whites.
"I'm not a coward - kill me if you can."
Malema made the call to “let the white economy collapse” last week as he called on South Africans to defy the eased lockdown.
He said the government’s decision to ease the lockdown was not based on scientific evidence and would lead to more people contracting and dying from the virus.