Mzwandile Masina bactracks on support for Julius Malema's 'white monopoly capital' tweet
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina has backtracked on his controversial support for the fall of "white economy capital".
On Wednesday, Masina told Parliament his tweet to a comment by EFF leader Julius Malema was in support for the nationalisation of "commanding heights of the economy".
"One would have expected more on the substance of what we presented. Seemingly, there is a temptation to personalise issues," he said when he appeared in the virtual meeting of the cooperative governance and traditional affairs portfolio committee on the city's response to Covid-19.
"I said in my tweet nationalise the commanding heights of the economy. If it is racism to you, think again," Masina said.
He was responding to DA MP Haniff Hoosen, who took him to task for calling for the fall of white economy.
Hoosen described Masina's comments as childish as he did not follow the pronouncements by President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Aficans display some level of solidarity and unity to support each other.
He noted with concern that the mayor appeared to support the collapse of white economy, who happened to be the same people he received donations on behalf of the poor.
"I appeal to the mayor as a leader to at least exercise some level of unity and solidarity required from all of us," Hoosen said.
But Masina stood his ground, saying they had called for the nationalisation of the commanding heights of economy over and over.
He argued that he had qualified his support for Malema's stance and that it could not be reduced to calling for the disruption of the economy.
"I stand by that. That does not amount to racism or killing white business," he said, adding that there were a few white people who said unimaginable things and likened Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to a monkey.
"I challenge you to check what I said," Masina added.
But DA MP Mike Waters was having none of his explanation and accused him of misleading the committee, and that he was backtracking for causing racial division by fully supporting Malema.
Masina insisted he had referred to the commanding heights of the economy and had stated that he agreed with specific issues.
He complained that Waters had taken him to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over the controversial Cuban drug.
Attempts by ANC MPs Bheki Hadebe and Maggie Tlou to force Hoosen to withdraw his remarks that Masina's comments were childish, were not sustained after it was pointed out they were raised long after he made them.
Hoosen stood his ground on his childish comments, saying they took note of the good work Masina and the city were doing for the poorest of the poor and that they were 100% supporting him.
However, he said South Africans should come together to build where all could prosper.
"We must unite and not divide. Anybody who seeks to achieve that is childish."