Khoza not allowed to speak
Dissident ANC MP stopped from giving YCL lecture at Inanda
ANC MP Makhosi Khoza was yesterday intimidated and prevented from delivering a lecture on former ANC president Oliver Tambo.
This was a day after EFF leader Julius Malema had raised concerns about her safety, and that of her ANC colleagues who are supporting a secret ballot against President Jacob Zuma.
Khoza had been invited to deliver the lecture by the Young Communist League of South Africa in Inanda, north of Durban.
She was going to speak at Tambo Plaza Hall, near the home of pro-Zuma Durban mayor Zandile Gumede, who is also the ANC’s eThekwini regional chairperson.
Khoza withdrew from the event after people wearing ANC T-shirts emblazoned with a picture of the president, had gathered to prevent her from coming into the area.
Addressing thousands of EFF supporters who attended the party’s fourth anniversary at Curries Fountain Stadium on Saturday, Malema said “Makhosi and other ANC MPs are being threatened from practising their right”.
“We need a way of protecting Members of Parliament, and the most reliable way of protecting MPs is through a secret vote.
“I have spoken to more than 60 MPs from the ANC, including cabinet members, who said to me with a secret ballot we are done,” said Malema.
Nontokozo Nsele, an SACP activist in Inanda, sustained a head injury when a stone was apparently thrown from the crowd. Nsele said she and other SACP members were walking to the hall when they were confronted by ANC supporters.
“Without provocation they swore at and attacked us with stones,” said Nsele.
Nduduzo Chamane, Young Communist League secretary in the area, described this ward in Inanda as being “the twin sister of Ward four in Ntshanga” when it came to tension between ANC and SACP supporters.
Khoza is currently in trouble with the ANC nationally and in KwaZulu-Natal for calling for a secret ballot in the vote of no-confidence in the president in Parliament on August 8.
She is expected to appear before an internal provincial disciplinary committee on September 10.
Khoza did not comment by publication deadline yesterday.
Chamane said Zuma sup- porters had started to mobilise on Monday to prevent Khoza from coming to the ward.
“They treat the SACP as their worst opposition in the ward, as Makhosi Khoza is treated as the main opposition in the ANC nationally,” said Chamane.
He said the YCL had invited Khoza to tell her that they shared her views about Zuma and were ready to defend her.
“Comrade Makhosi is one of us because of her views, even though she is not a card-carrying member of the SACP. She is saying that South African society is saying ‘ enough is enough’, and she is prepared to vote with her conscience, which is what we support,” said Chamane.
Isaac Luthuli, YCL deputy national secretary, said after yesterday’s incident, Khoza had decided to withdraw from the lecture.
“We tried to persuade her to come despite the threats, but we understood when she declined, because her safety is very important,” said Luthuli.
Zuma supporters declined to comment and instead referred questions to ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli.
Ntuli distanced the ANC leadership from people who had gathered to intimidate Khoza.
He said he was not aware of the lecture. He also argued that SACP supporters also wore Zuma ANC T-shirts.
“They might be SACP members who do not agree with Makhosi’s views,” he said.
However, he said Khoza, “like any other comrade”, should be allowed to deliver lectures if she had been invited by “any member of the alliance”.
Concerning the party’s disciplinary steps against Khoza, Ntuli said: “She must make sure she does not make her conditions aggravated. I would want to believe she is mature enough to understand the implications of doing or saying something that compromises her before the case.”
SACP members singing and dancing during the OR Tambo Memorial lecture at iNanda yesterday.