Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina has seemingly criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to put struggling state airline South African Airways (SAA) on business rescue.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the decision in a media statement on Thursday morning, saying it would “restore confidence in SAA.”
In a Twitter post on Thursday, Masina said business rescue equals privatisation, “which is not African National Congress (ANC) policy.”
Fikile Mbalula defends Ramaphosa’s decision
Masina is also chairperson of ANC in Ekurhuleni, while Ramaphosa is also President of the ANC.
The Mayor wrote, “Restructuring, unbundling, business rescue = (privatisation) which is not ANC policy.”
However, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who is also an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member, came to Ramaphosa’s defence.
In a reply to Masina’s tweet, he wrote, “I think we are being sensational. Let’s have the real debate – when a company is bankrupt [and] does not generate profit, what do we do? Perpetual bailouts?”
Masina’s public broadsides at Ramaphosa
Masina has publicly criticised Ramaphosa on a number of occasions. In May, he criticised his appointment of Gordhan as a minister.
He tweeted, “The appointment of Pravin undermines the rule of law and makes mockery of our democracy. This is really out of order! I hope the NEC looks into this matter with urgency.”
He has also been outspoken in his criticism of the CR17 campaign fundraising for Ramaphosa’s 2017 ANC presidency bid, including penning an article on News24 about it.
Masina made headlines in 2017 when he declared he won’t serve under the leadership of Ramaphosa should he win the ANC’s presidential contest.
News24 reported at the time that Masina said if Ramaphosa won, “white people will lead South Africa.” However, he didn’t make good on this threat to resign as Ekurhuleni Mayor.
In August this year, Gauteng ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) threatened to take disciplinary action on members who publicly discuss internal matters. Masina is a member of the PEC.
“The PEC has impressed upon all its members, its structures across the length and breath of the province to desist from engaging publicly on internal matters and misrepresenting the organisation’s position on issues.
“All codes of conduct, disciplinary and related policies will be enforced as we drive the renewal process,” the PEC said.