PEC must halt Khoza case: lawyer
EMBATTLED MP Makhosi Khoza’s lawyer has warned the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal to suspend the disciplinary hearing against his client scheduled to take place in Durban on Sunday, describing it as a futile exercise.
Advocate Smanga Sethene was adamant yesterday that the hearing not go ahead despite the provincial executive committee’s insistence it would continue disciplining Khoza despite the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling early this week that the body had been elected unlawfully.
The provincial disciplinary committee comprises of chairperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, ANC Women’s League provincial deputy chairperson Ravi Pillay, the MEC of Human Settlements and Public Works, and Makhosini Nkosi, mayor of Newcastle Municipality, who all have legal backgrounds.
The ruling, delivered on Tuesday by Judge Jerome Mnguni on behalf of Judge Piet Koen, declared the party had breached its constitution by holding a Pietermaritzburg ANC provincial conference in 2015 instead of 2016.
However, the PEC. in defiance of the national executive committee (NEC) decision, announced it planned to launch an appeal.
Party provincial spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli had said the PEC would still continue prosecuting Khoza because the “court nullified the conference but the PEC can only be dissolved by the NEC and not by the court”.
Sethene disagreed, saying the PEC should abide by the court ruling and cease making further decisions.
There appears to be confusion around whether the PEC can continue in the wake of this week’s judgment. Ntuli said although the committee is part of the PEC structure, it operates independently, and therefore would continue with the hearing as scheduled.
Sethene, who is a card-carrying member of the ANC, had planned to meet Khoza yesterday evening to take instruction on whether to attend the hearings. The disciplinary committee could continue with the hearing, and pass a verdict against Khoza in absentia.
“It would be a futile exercise because the appeal committee of the ANC would effectively set that decision aside because there would be an issue of the authority.”
He said he was of a view that the PEC suspend its operations until it clears its legitimacy issue “because one of the charges Khoza faces is that she insulted the current leadership, now dissolved, by having said it comes clean in court so that they can be regarded as legitimate”.
Khoza protested against having to appear before the committee in KZN because of threats made to her life.
The PEC can only be dissolved by the NEC and not by the court