President Jacob Zuma has officially identified with newly-elected Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina on his swearing in as Ekurhuleni mayor.
Zuma felicitated with the new mayor, who has been one of Zuma’s friends and the only mayor who has Zuma’s back today. Mayors in the remaining two metros in the province are DA-run and the Gauteng ANC, who are well known critics of Zuma, were snubbed.
According to a statement issued by presidency spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga, Zuma decided to only congratulate Masina because he earlier served and resigned as a deputy minister.
The statement reads:
“If it was just a statement about being a mayor, we would have congratulated everybody. We wish to heartily congratulate the former Deputy Minister on his election as Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni.
We also extend our words of gratitude to him for having served our country with diligence and commitment at the National Executive level of our government, particularly in driving our flagship Black Industrialists Programme at the Department of Trade and Industry. wished him success in further steering the Ekurhukeni metro municipality towards sustainable development for all.”
Mayor Mzwandile Masina formerly served as deputy trade and industry minister. He resigned under pressure from his post before being sworn in as a councilor in Ekurhuleni. Masina subsequently got elected as the city’s mayor. He is also the ANC’s Ekurhuleni regional chairman.
Ekurhuleni is the only metro retained by the ANC in Gauteng. Prior to the elections, the ANC entered into a coalition with the African Independent Congress (AIC) and the PAC.
The ruling party’s victory margin of 11 votes for the mayor and speaker over their closest rival, the DA, indicated that the opposition parties did not vote as a unit, but rather some of them voted alongside with the ANC. It also obtained the support of the Patriotic Alliance and the Independent Ratepayers Association of SA (Irasa).