Pietermaritzburg – ANC firebrand MP Makhosi Khoza, who is facing disciplinary charges for her public statements on President Jacob Zuma, now wants to ditch the ruling party.
In an exclusive interview with The Witness, Khoza — who did not attend her disciplinary hearing in Durban on Sunday — said she no longer sees any point in serving in an organisation whose values no longer align with her own.
“I joined the ANC because it was an organisation of the people. I now don’t see any reason why I should continue being a member of the ANC given the fact that the party no longer believes in putting people first.
“Now that there is a campaign within the ANC against those who genuinely care about the poor, I feel it is the right time for me to close the ANC chapter and begin a new one,” she said.
A former Msunduzi Municipality deputy mayor, Khoza blamed “eleventh hour” changes made by ANC provincial leaders around the time the hearing was supposed to start for her failure to attend Sunday’s proceedings.
ANC agrees to delay Khoza hearing
“I had made all the necessary travel arrangements so that I would be able to attend the hearing, which was supposed to start at 3pm but they sent me another e-mail indicating some changes.
“Unfortunately, I could not accommodate that as I had already booked flights and made the necessary security arrangements,” she said.
Khoza, who is now a backbencher following the ANC decision last month to axe her as chairperson of the public service and administration portfolio committee, said ANC bosses in KwaZulu-Natal had informed her that the hearing would go ahead in her absence.
“My lawyer attended the hearing. They can go ahead and strip me of my membership, I don’t care anymore.
“I have reflected a lot in the past few days and something inside me told me that these people are no longer my comrades. They call you comrade while at the same time plotting against you — what kind of comrades do those kinds of things?, she said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli, however, said the hearing did not proceed. The chairperson agreed to postpone the matter to allow Khoza’s legal representative sufficient time to prepare for the case.
“The case has been adjourned and will convene on Sunday, 17th September 2017, Pixley Ka-Seme House, ANC provincial office, in order to accommodate the request made by her representative who was instructed last night and could not have sufficient time to prepare for the hearing,” he said.
The Pietermaritzburg-born MP was charged with bringing the party into disrepute for, among other things, calling Zuma an amoral leader who did not deserve to lead the country.
Khoza is one of the ANC MPs who defied last month’s party leadership directive instructing all ruling party MPs to vote against the opposition parties’ motion of no confidence in Zuma.
“I have no regrets at all as the results of that vote have clearly demonstrated to all South Africans that Zuma no longer enjoyed the support of most of the members of his own party. I’m proud to be counted amongst those MPs who expressed their displeasure in the manner in which the ANC as well as government were being run,” she said.
Khoza, who has been an ANC member for 35 years, said she had not yet made a decision on her future. She wanted to continue playing a role in the fight against poverty and corruption.
“I will definitely find a platform to champion the mission which the ANC has betrayed. There is no doubt that what I went through in recent months had made me a stronger person.
“The insults and threats I have been getting from the ANC had made me realise I could be far more effective outside the ANC than within. It is true that people outside the ANC are much safer than those within the party,” she said.