Ekurhuleni mayor Masina slams ‘phenomenon of incumbents persecuting former leaders’

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ANC Ekurhuleni chairperson Mzwandile Masina has accused the party’s incumbent leadership of publicly lynching former president Jacob Zuma.

Masina said this during his political input at a regional executive committee meeting this week. 

He added the party was engaged in a brutal war with itself, warning that it ran the risk of waking up with an ANC that was no longer recognisable. 

The party, he claimed, had given birth to the politics of personality cults, sins of incumbency and a tendency to witch-hunt former leaders. 

The Ekurhuleni mayor, who was seen at the state capture inquiry in support of Zuma, said the phenomenon had arisen when a new leadership tried to embed itself on the party and state. 

Former president Thabo Mbeki and Zuma were victims of this, he added. 

“We see this creeping in again today with the way in which [former] president Zuma is being treated and the humiliation he is being subjected to. It must never be argued by anyone that we are an ANC that does not believe that its leaders must be held accountable.

“This narrative is wrong. What we cannot do is participate in the public lynching of our leaders, past or present, by processes that are questionable and whose legitimacy is debatable. Justice must be done, but it must be done justly.”

During Zuma’s state capture testimony, Masina addressed supporters and raised questions about the commission’s legitimacy. 

In his report, which News24 has seen, Masina said the ANC should never celebrate when the legacies of its leaders were trampled on and their contribution reduced to wasted years. 

READ: I will not serve under Ramaphosa – Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina

“If we do not arrest this phenomenon of the persecution of former leaders by incumbents, we are likely to create a situation in which leading our organisation is viewed as riding on the back of a lion, where one is afraid to disembark because they face the real threat of being devoured.”

Masina also stressed the need for organisational discipline, saying it was closely linked to a growing tendency of disregarding party resolutions. 

Within the ANC, including himself, were members who were consistently engaged in perplexing conversations publicly with ANC leaders who disregarded the ANC, his statement read.

“It is almost as though there is an unspoken belief that members of the ANC do not have the intellectual capacity to think meaningfully about the decisions they take at congress.

“Such matters as the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank were debated by members before they were resolved upon. We knew what we were saying, and we knew what we meant by our posture.

“It cannot be the ANC that respects the voices of the people that allows its leadership to speak recklessly and without any regard for sensitivity about such matters as e-tolls, which we know are important matters that must be engaged with cool heads.”

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