‘Let them f ire me’

Makhosi Khoza re­mains de­fi­ant about pub­licly voic­ing her dis­ap­point­ment with the ANC

CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAKINANA andisiwe.makinana@city­press.co.za

Feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble and un­der threat, and with no pro­tec­tion of­fered by the pow­ers-that-be – these are some of the rea­sons that prompted ANC MP Makhosi Khoza to pub­licly voice her dis­may about the gov­ern­ing party and its lead­er­ship. “She be­lieves that speak­ing out will save her, that it is her only refuge and that when she speaks out, she will some­how be safer,” said a source who had spo­ken to Khoza.

City Press un­der­stands that these were the rea­sons Khoza gave to ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu this week, when he sought an ex­pla­na­tion for her pub­lic at­tacks.

Mthembu con­firmed that he had spo­ken to Khoza be­fore is­su­ing a strongly worded state­ment on Fri­day in which he called for the party to take ac­tion against her for “extreme ill-dis­ci­pline”.

Mthembu told City Press that he was not call­ing for ac­tion against Khoza over her views, but rather, for rais­ing her views out­side of the party struc­tures and in the me­dia.

Mthembu is also un­der­stood to have pre­vi­ously de­fended Khoza when some in the ANC, in­clud­ing the ANC Youth League, threat­ened to protest out­side her home and called for her to be re­moved from her par­lia­men­tary seat be­cause of her hos­til­ity to­wards Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Mthembu said he had writ­ten to Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete and to ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe about Khoza’s safety con­cerns. He had also spo­ken out against the al­leged threats made on Khoza’s life dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary de­bate.

In March, Par­lia­ment con­demned the death threats al­legedly re­ceived by Khoza when she led the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion on an over­sight visit in Mpumalanga.

In April, Khoza wrote can­didly about an “in­ju­di­cious ANC lead­er­ship” on her Face­book wall. While some called for her to be dis­ci­plined, the ANC did not take ac­tion.

It is un­der­stood that lead­ers like Mthembu warned her not to speak pub­licly about party is­sues.

This week, Khoza gave me­dia in­ter­views dur­ing the party’s Na­tional Pol­icy Con­fer­ence, held at Nas­rec in south­ern Jo­han­nes­burg, and dared the ANC to fire her for call­ing for a se­cret bal­lot vote in the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against Zuma.

“If the ANC is go­ing to be fir­ing me be­cause I am say­ing we have to lis­ten to the peo­ple that elected us, so be it. I am not go­ing to re­sign. Let them fire me. Let them de­fine them­selves that they are no longer the ANC that I know,” she told a Gaut­eng-based ra­dio sta­tion.

This af­ter she was asked to com­ment on re­cent re­marks made by Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula, who is also a mem­ber of the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. Mbalula had likened ANC MPs who voted against party in­struc­tions and with the op­po­si­tion on the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Zuma to “sui­cide bombers”. He said they would be com­mit­ting po­lit­i­cal sui­cide and would be dis­ci­plined.

Khoza told Rap­port: “I have never been ac­cused of prey­ing on the chil­dren of my friends to sat­isfy my own sex­ual de­sires.”

Khoza said she had writ­ten to Mbete, re­quest­ing that vot­ing be done by way of a se­cret bal­lot on the said mo­tion to re­move the pres­i­dent.

Mthembu ac­cused Khoza of cast­ing as­per­sions on ANC MPs by say­ing she doubted whether ANC MPs had the ne­c­es­sary moral­ity to make their own de­ci­sions.

“We take se­ri­ous ex­cep­tion to such ut­ter­ances as they seek to ques­tion the cal­i­bre of our MPs,” he said.

“ANC MPs are tried and tested cadres of the move­ment who have, in their own name and right, con­trib­uted im­mensely to the at­tain­ment and ad­vance­ment of our democ­racy.”

He de­nied Khoza’s claims that she was not al­lowed to raise her views in ANC cau­cus meet­ings, say­ing the op­po­site was true as the ANC’s constitution en­cour­aged mem­bers to raise their con­cerns in­side the move­ment’s struc­tures.

An ANC source, who had pre­vi­ously sym­pa­thised with Khoza, ques­tioned her in­ten­tions. “How do you con­tin­u­ously rub­bish the move­ment and its lead­ers and con­tinue to defy the ANC? It looks as if she is dar­ing the ANC to kick her out.”

Khoza re­ferred City Press to her Face­book wall when con­tacted for com­ment.

Mean­while, op­po­si­tion par­ties want Mbete to make a de­ci­sion about us­ing the se­cret bal­lot, with­out in­volv­ing them. This af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled last month that the Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker has the dis­cre­tion to de­ter­mine whether a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence should be voted upon by a se­cret or open bal­lot.

The DA, the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers, the United Demo­cratic Move­ment and the Inkatha Free­dom Party are ques­tion­ing the process that Mbete has ini­ti­ated in mak­ing her de­ci­sion on whether to use the se­cret bal­lot or not.

Par­lia­ment an­nounced that de­spite the court clar­i­fy­ing that the power to de­cide on vot­ing pro­ce­dures rests with the Speaker, Mbete had in­vited in­ter­ested par­ties to sub­mit their views re­gard­ing their pre­ferred means of vot­ing on this mo­tion.

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PHOTO: LINDILE MBONTSI

OUT­SPO­KEN Makhosi Khoza has put on a brave front in the face of threats from the ANC

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