I will not be si­lenced, says de­fi­ant Khoza

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BHEKI MBAN­JWA

DE­SPITE the pos­si­bil­ity of fac­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion from her party, outspoken ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza has vowed not to keep quiet and dared the ANC to ex­pel her if it wants to.

“If they choose to fire me, so be it. If they choose to kill me, then so be it. I am a fan of Socrates, who had the op­tion to apol­o­gise, but he did not, be­cause he be­lieved in the rule of law. I also believe in the rule of law,” she said yes­ter­day.

Khoza an­gered ANC lead­ers this week when she granted me­dia in­ter­views on the side­lines of the na­tional pol­icy con­fer­ence in con­tra­ven­tion of party rules that no del­e­gate could grant in­ter­views un­less it was ap­proved by the com­mu­ni­ca­tions team.

ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa said Khoza was “out of or­der” for grant­ing the in­ter­views, in which she was crit­i­cal of the ANC and its lead­er­ship. Kodwa said the mat­ter had been re­ferred to the con­fer­ence steer­ing com­mit­tee to de­cide on what ac­tion, if any, would be taken against Khoza.

But Khoza re­mained de­fi­ant. If charged by the ANC, Khoza said, she would sub­ject her­self to the dis­ci­plinary process, but warned she would also seek to bring counter-charges against in­di­vid­u­als she feels have brought the party into dis­re­pute.

In a veiled at­tack on Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, she said she did not un­der­stand why the ANC would tar­get her when oth­ers had brought the or­gan­i­sa­tion into dis­re­pute.

“I have never been to court ac­cused of steal­ing from the public. I have never been ac­cused of prey­ing on the chil­dren of my friends, just to sat­isfy my lust and sex­ual de­sires. And when are we go­ing to charge peo­ple im­pli­cated in the (Gupta) emails?” she asked.

Khoza is seen as lead­ing the anti-Zuma lobby within the ANC cau­cus, hav­ing made it clear that she will not vote for an “amoral” lead­er­ship.

This week, the ANC is­sued a stern warn­ing to its MPs, say­ing any­one who wanted to vote against Zuma in the up­com­ing vote of no-con­fi­dence could face ex­pul­sion. Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber and Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula likened those MPs plan­ning on vot­ing against Zuma to sui­cide bombers.

Khoza said she was dis­turbed by Mbalula’s state­ment, say­ing it negated the ANC’s com­mit­ment to heal­ing di­vi­sions. Pro­nounce­ments by Mbalula con­sti­tuted threats against MPs, she warned.

“Mbalula’s state­ments are bizarre to some­one like me who lives with be­ing told she is go­ing to be killed. The state­ment also says we must vote blindly.”

Khoza said she was speak­ing up be­cause it was wrong for in­tel­lec­tu­als to keep quiet amid wrong­do­ings by oth­ers.

“I was jailed when I was 14, I was wid­owed when I was 28, I have in the past lost my life, and noth­ing will ever make me (do any­thing).

Khoza warned that the ANC was “bleed­ing to death”.

PIC­TURE: PHANDO JIKELO

OUTSPOKEN: ANC MP Makhosi Khoza ques­tions lead­er­ship’s wrong­do­ings.

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