Voting for popular candidate won't save ANC from electoral decline, warns Masina

Masina, in an opinion piece published on Eyewitness News, raises concerns over what he terms the building of a narrative that only a more popular candidate deserves to win.

FILE: Mzwandile Masina. Picture: @mzwandileMasina/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As African National Congress (ANC)'s Gauteng members prepare for its 14th provincial conference, Ekurhuleni’s Mzwandile Masina has warned against voting for a popular candidate in the hope that this will save the organisation from electoral decline.

Masina, in an opinion piece published on Eyewitness News, raises concerns over what he terms the building of a narrative that only a more popular candidate deserves to win.

While he makes no mention of any names, his opinion piece comes as the race between the popular Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and his opponent Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile, who is lesser known to the public, heats up.

Masina is a well-known supporter of Maile’s campaign to become ANC provincial chair.

When it comes to Lesufi and Maile’s race for ANC Gauteng chair, pundits outside of the party believe only Lesufi could possibly halt the party’s electoral decline.

He is a popular Education MEC whose removal from that portfolio once drew widespread outrage, which saw him being reshuffled back to dealing with Gauteng’s schools.

Masina said those who believed that this was a measure of who should win this weekend’s conference were mistaken.

In his opinion piece, Masina makes observations about the ANC’s upcoming conference, arguing that there are attempts to cement the myth that only one person can save the ANC in Gauteng.

He said the party had attempted to use popular and well-liked leaders to draw support in the past, but it’s often failed.

Masina said that it was time that the ANC learned that popularity did not translate to capturing the heart and minds of voters, instead emphasising the need for a common vision.

The ANC in Gauteng will have to pick one of the two when it meets for its conference, which kicks off on Thursday.