‘I have one month to live’

De­spite threats, Khoza calls for se­cret bal­lot

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

OUT­SPO­KEN ANC MP Makhosi Khoza yes­ter­day stunned civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions at the Rhema Bi­ble Church in Rand­burg when she de­clared that she might be dead in a month.

Khoza, who has re­cently re­ceived a se­ries of death threats af­ter she pub­licly pushed for Par­lia­ment to hold the no-con­fi­dence vote against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma on Au­gust 8 by se­cret bal­lot, be­lieves that those op­posed to her would kill her in less than a month.

“In case I do not make it (alive) to Au­gust 8, 2017, Mr Pres­i­dent, you must know that you are haunt­ing the South African na­tion,” Khoza said.

Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day took Khoza’s fears for her life se­ri­ously when it said ex­tra se­cu­rity would be pro­vided for the KZN MP. This fol­lowed a po­lice as­sess­ment which de­ter­mined that a se­cu­rity threat ex­ists against her.

Spokesper­son for Par­lia­ment Moloto Mothapo said the Speaker had re­ferred Khoza’s mat­ter to the po­lice for fur­ther han­dling af­ter she sub­mit­ted a re­port per­tain­ing to the threats she has been re­ceiv­ing.

“The SAPS con­ducted a se­cu­rity as­sess­ment and sub­mit­ted its re­port, with rec­om­men­da­tions, on July 13 for con­sid­er­a­tion by Par­lia­ment’s Ex­ec­u­tive Author­ity – the Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly and the chair­per­son of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces. The se­cu­rity as­sess­ment con­firmed that a se­cu­rity threat ex­isted and that ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port must be pro­vided to Dr Khoza,” Mothapo said.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula said law en­force­ment agents were not tak­ing the threats lightly and had or­dered a team to track down those be­hind the se­ries of threat­en­ing text mes­sages sent to Khoza last week.

Khoza re­cently posted screen grabs on her Face­book ac­count con­tain­ing threat­en­ing mes­sages she had re­ceived, warn­ing her against push­ing for a se­cret bal­lot for the mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence.

One of the text mes­sages she re­ceived reads: “This time around, you should do what is best for your­self,” which was fol­lowed up with: “I will find you and I will kill you. You have 21 days be­fore you die.”

Po­lit­i­cal killings and threats have risen as the ANC elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber draws nearer.

On Mon­day night, the Speaker of the Ray­mond Mh­laba Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Fort Beau­fort, East­ern Cape, was gunned down a few weeks af­ter re­ceiv­ing a death threat. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Thozama Njobe was shot in the up­per body while driv­ing with a col­league.

Yes­ter­day, the Hawks re­leased iden­tik­its of two sus­pects be­lieved to be linked to the shoot­ing of Sindiso Ma­gaqa, for­mer ANC Youth League sec­re­tary-gen­eral, and two other ANC coun­cil­lors in KZN last week.

The Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lit­i­cal killings in Khoza’s home prov­ince of KwaZulu-Na­tal heard tes­ti­mony on Mon­day that Dur­ban south’s no­to­ri­ous Gle­be­lands Hos­tel was a haven for hit­men who op­er­ated through­out the prov­ince and the coun­try.

Un­fazed by the threats to her life and th­ese lat­est killings, Khoza yes­ter­day fired more bit­ter salvoes against cor­rup­tion in the ANC while plead­ing with Zuma to step down.

“I am here be­cause South Africans, the peo­ple, are speak­ing and I have to lis­ten at­ten­tively so that my ANC can be an ef­fec­tive in­stru­ment of lib­er­a­tion. Can the ANC be an ef­fec­tive in­stru­ment of non-racial­ism when it is led by a pres­i­dent who has lost le­git­i­macy, cred­i­bil­ity and in­tegrity?” Khoza asked.

She said the threats to her life would not si­lence her and pleaded for Zuma to step down.

The KZN MP was part of a panel speak­ing at the Con­fer­ence for the Fu­ture of South Africa at Rhema Bi­ble Church.

MORE ques­tions were be­ing asked yes­ter­day with re­gard to the de­par­ture of South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency boss Thokozani Mag­waza, with the SACP, Cosatu and Black Sash en­ter­ing the fray.

Mean­while, So­cial Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini kept a low pro­file, giv­ing no in­di­ca­tion of who Mag­waza’s suc­ces­sor might be.

Dlamini’s spokesper­son, Lumka Oliphant, said: “The min­is­ter will make an an­nounce­ment in due course.”

The SACP de­manded an­swers af­ter it was re­ported that Mag­waza had left be­cause his re­la­tion­ship with the min­is­ter had ir­re­triev­ably bro­ken down. It said Mag­waza firmly sup­ported us­ing the South African Post Of­fice to dis­trib­ute so­cial grants to 17 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

“Mag­waza is well known for his firm po­si­tion in the de­fence and ad­vance­ment of the ANC’s res­o­lu­tion, which is also an SACP res­o­lu­tion, that the Post Of­fice/Bank must be given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of dis­tribut­ing for so­cial grants, as op­posed to a pri­vate com­pany,” said SACP spokesper­son Alex Mashilo.

“Among oth­ers, Mag­waza de­posed an af­fi­davit in a Con­sti­tu­tional Court case on the cri­sis that en­gulfed so­cial grants distri­bu­tion.”

Cosatu has called for Dlamini’s head and warned that if the wheels come off on so­cial grants, the blame should be put at the min­is­ter’s door.

Cosatu spokesper­son Sizwe Pamla said Mag­waza had been pushed.

“We strongly con­demn the in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tics and death threats directed at him, and call on Par­lia­ment to de­mand an­swers over his de­par­ture,” he said.

“The fed­er­a­tion re­it­er­ates its po­si­tion that Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini is no longer an as­set to the de­part­ment. She is, in fact, a li­a­bil­ity.

“It is no co­in­ci­dence that Mag­waza had been pushed out when he was due to file pa­pers in the Con­sti­tu­tional Court on why Min­is­ter Dlamini should pay le­gal costs from her own pocket.”

The Black Sash also said it was con­cerned about the de­par­ture of senior of­fi­cials in the govern­ment.

Spokesper­son Es­ley Phi­lan­der said they were con­cerned about whether Sassa would be able to “pro­cure ser­vices timeously to en­sure the proper func­tion­ing and in­tegrity of the agency’s na­tional pay­ment sys­tem”.

Phi­lan­der warned that South Africa must not face another ex­ten­sion of the Cash Pay­mas­ter Ser­vices con­tract when it ex­pired next March.

This fol­lowed the Con­sti­tu­tional Court de­ci­sion early this year to ex­tend the con­tract for another 12 months while another ser­vice provider was be­ing sought.

FEAR­LESS: Makhosi Khoza sol­diers on.

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