Note to editors: The following remarks were made by Ghaleb Cachalia, DA Mayoral Candidate for Ekurhuleni and DA Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry, Geordin Hill-Lewis MP, at a joint press briefing in Edenvale today.
By selecting Mzwandile Masina, the ANC has offered to the residents of Ekurhuleni a man who is a Jacob Zuma devotee who neither has the skills or the temperament to resolve the unemployment crisis in the city.
Masina, the current Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, is known to have a chequered past with few achievements of his own.
He has long depended on political patronage within the ANC to be deployed as a loyal cadre to various positions in Government departments, with no real credentials to support his appointment. It appears he has been parachuted into positions where his support for Mr Zuma can be leveraged to further the interests of the President and his network.
Mr Masina’s record, under scrutiny, demonstrates poor temperament. Furthermore, Mr Masina has not demonstrated any capacity to manage public funding responsibility.
Mr Masina’s track record also leads one to question whether or not he even believes in the values of Nelson Mandela.
Some of Masina’s infamous moments have been:
- December 2013 – Whilst National Convenor of the ANCYL, Masina was quoted at a media briefing as saying that NUMSA General-Secretary should “f**k off”. He later claimed that he had been misquoted, and maintained that he had said “fork off”. The ANCYL stood by him and claimed that his language had not been inappropriate.
- April 2014 – Masina uploaded a photo to Instagram of former Intelligence Minister, Ronnie Kasrils, and former Deputy Health Minister, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, and referred to the latter in his caption as a “hoe”. The ANCYL distanced itself from the incident, and apologised to those who thought the comment had been made on its behalf. Masina himself deleted the caption, then later issued a semi-apology in which he claimed that he had meant to write “who”.
- May 2015 – During the National Assembly (NA) debate on President Zuma’s budget speech, Masina was seen to mouth the words “I will f**k you up” to DA MP, Geordin Hill-Lewis. Then Chairperson, Thoko Didiza, claimed not to have seen or heard the incident and pledged to investigate. The EFF called on Masina to apologise for his actions, as they were un-parliamentary. No record of an apology could be found.
- April 2016 – Masina travelled to the ANC manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth by way of a luxury jet. The Sunday Times reported that there were four other passengers, and that the trip from Johannesburg cost approximately R220 000. The other passengers included former ANC Secretary of the Western Cape Songezo Mjongile, Ekurhuleni Regional Treasurer Thembinkosi Nciza and Gauteng ANC official Anda Bici. Masina was not willing to say who the plane belonged too, whether his Department had paid anything for the trip, or why he did not simply fly commercially.
- He is also known to undermine the workings of Chapter 9 institutions. Masina has gone on record to show his contempt for Advocate Thuli Madonsela, and the office of the Public Protector, whilst conducting her inquiry into President Zuma’s Nkandla home. He recently said that he was happy that Adv Madonsela’s term of office was coming to an end.
Mr Masina’s record as Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry has also shown him to be ineffectual as a leader:
- In Parliament, Masina has shown that he is not on top of his brief and is unfamiliar with any of the key details relating to the major issues in DTI. In parliamentary question sessions, Masina revealed that he had a very weak grasp of the details relating to South Africa’s AGOA negotiations with the USA. In another question session, he revealed that he had no idea about the agreement between the DTI and ArcelorMittal with regards to steel pricing.
- He hardly ever attends parliamentary portfolio committee meetings, having attended four or five at most in more than 2 years.
- His only initiative as Deputy Minister has been the so-called “100 Black Industrialist Programme”, which is another ANC crony-enrichment scheme using billions of rands of public money. The scheme has already been roundly criticised, and it will not do anything to truly empower black entrepreneurs.
- Perhaps most importantly, Masina has been directly responsible for the South African manufacturing industry – which is shedding jobs. In Ekurhuleni alone, more than 100 000 jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2016. This is a truly abysmal record for Masina. He has done nothing to save manufacturing jobs in Ekurhuleni as Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, the department most able to do something. He will not do any better, and quite possibly worse, as Mayor of this Metro.
In his personal conduct, his temperament, in his loyalty to Jacob Zuma, his lack of attention to his brief, his attempt to use his government office to build another crony enrichment project – in all that he has done as a Deputy Minister, Mzwandile Masina has shown himself to be completely unsuitable for the position of Executive Mayor.
Ekurhuleni under Mr Masina will attract less investment, less jobs and more cronies. That is not what this Metro needs.
It is evident that, by selecting Masina, the ANC have put internal party politics ahead of the people of Ekurhuleni. His selection was done with scant regard for the jobs crisis that Ekurhuleni is facing and the deep seated problems in the city.
The DA, by contrast, has run the most democratic, transparent and open candidate selection process of any party in South Africa.
I was selected because not only do I have the ability to get Ekurhuleni working again – revitalising the economic and societal heartbeat of this Metro, but I am a constitutional democrat who respects the Rule of Law and the values our forefathers and mothers struggled to attain.
In a DA-run Ekurhuleni, the needs of the people will be placed ahead of internal party politics and factional battles. Service delivery will not be neglected while a handful of elite politicians trample over the Constitution.
Under the DA, Ekurhuleni will be transformed from the capital of unemployment into a city that creates jobs, delivers services, cuts corruption and brings about the change we need to move the city forward again.