ANC cracks the whip over Khoza

Party acts on out­spo­ken MP

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - ZI­MASA MATI­WANE AND BALD­WIN ND­ABA

FAC­TIONAL bat­tles within the ANC have al­lowed “ill dis­ci­pline” to flour­ish.

This is the view of po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Bheki Mn­gomezulu.

He was speak­ing about the KwaZulu-Natal ANC hav­ing taken a de­ci­sion to in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary mea­sures against MP Makhosi Khoza.

“It took long for the ANC to act be­cause dis­ci­plin­ing her would have seemed like she is be­ing tar­geted on fac­tional lines, not be­cause she broke the rules of the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” Mn­gomezulu claimed.

He said that judg­ing by Khoza’s con­duct, it was ob­vi­ous that “it would come to this point”.

Mn­gomezulu said the ANC had been strate­gic in not act­ing on the mat­ter promptly.

“It would have been easy to say ac­tion has been taken be­cause she is in the fac­tion that wants (Pres­i­dent Ja­cob) Zuma out, not be­cause she didn’t fol­low party rules,” he said.

He sug­gested the mat­ter be han­dled in a del­i­cate man­ner.

“Any neg­li­gence in han­dling this is­sue will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the en­tire ANC.

“Re­mem­ber the ANC in KZN is not act­ing in iso­la­tion,” Mn­gomezulu said.

He said the party was clear that mem­bers could not take de­ci­sions that were against party di­rec­tives and that the ANC in KZN is han­dling the mat­ter only be­cause Khoza was their de­ployee to Par­lia­ment. “It is stan­dard pro­ce­dure in ev­ery po­lit­i­cal party that once a party takes a po­si­tion, mem­bers vote ac­cord­ing to the party po­si­tion be­cause they are in Par­lia­ment to ex­e­cute the man­date of the party,” he said.

Mn­gomezulu said MPs could raise is­sues dur­ing dis­cus­sions within the party but they would in­jure party unity if they spoke out in­de­pen­dently against a party di­rec­tive in pub­lic.

Luthuli House launched a blis­ter­ing at­tack on its out­spo­ken MP yes­ter­day, when it said she had be­haved like a “runaway fire”.

Khoza’s home prov­ince of KZN was even more scathing, charg­ing her with in­dis­ci­pline – a move that could re­sult in her be­ing with­drawn from Par­lia­ment if found guilty.

Khoza has in re­cent months bro­ken ranks with the party and openly cam­paigned for a vote of no con­fi­dence against party pres­i­dent Zuma to be con­ducted through a se­cret bal­lot on Au­gust 8.

The lat­est at­tack on Khoza came af­ter she shared a pub­lic plat­form with some of the fiercest crit­ics of Zuma at Rhema Bible Church and joined them in their call for him to step down. ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa yes­ter­day slammed Khoza for show­ing gross dis­re­spect to the party’s dis­ci­plinary code.

“Dr Khoza was a del­e­gate at the party’s pol­icy con­fer­ence where a num­ber of is­sues were dis­cussed in­clud­ing state cap­ture. A num­ber of peo­ple spoke out against cor­rup­tion at the con­fer­ence.

“If you are a loyal mem­ber of the ANC, you would raise some of your con­cerns in­ter­nally in the or­gan­i­sa­tion. You can’t be­have like a runaway fire.

“The ac­tions of Dr Khoza are to weaken the ANC and to put the im­age of the ANC into dis­re­pute,” Kodwa said.

He said peo­ple like Khoza were ex­pected to ad­vance the ANC’s agenda of so­cial change, adding that her el­e­va­tion to Par­lia­ment meant that the ANC had trusted her with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of be­ing the “most de­vel­oped to un­der­stand the dis­ci­plinary code of the ANC”. “We know that some of the ANC mem­bers were be­ing courted to cross to the op­po­si­tion. They are push­ing the ANC to the limit to force the party to act. We are not go­ing to act reck­lessly.

“If we act, the party was go­ing to ap­pear to be in­tol­er­ant to dif­fer- ent views. It is shame­less to share pub­lic plat­forms with the crit­ics of the ANC,” Kodwa said.

But Kodwa nonethe­less ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of bring­ing ac­tion against Khoza and sim­i­lar ANC mem­bers, say­ing it was pre­ma­ture to do so.

Kodwa said Khoza’s ac­tion were aimed at dis­cred­it­ing the ANC be­fore leav­ing “for higher ech­e­lons” in one of the op­po­si­tion par­ties. But he de­clined to re­veal the name of that party.

The ANC KZN, how­ever, did not pull any punches in deal­ing with Khoza. It said in a state­ment that she was ar­ro­gant and the prov­ince would in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary mea­sures against its par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

In the state­ment is­sued by pro­vin­cial spokesper­son Mdu­miseni Ntuli, the party said Khoza was not im­mune to the po­lit­i­cal dis­ci­pline of the ANC.

KZN also ac­cused Khoza of be­ing part of a “con­ver­gence of forces” work­ing to re­move Zuma and ul­ti­mately the ANC from gov­ern­ment. “Her pub­lic stunt and par­tic­i­pa­tion in plat­forms in­tended to re­place the so­ci­etal lead­er­ship role of the ANC con­sti­tutes a bla­tant be­trayal of the core val­ues of the ANC.

“Ac­cord­ingly, the ANC pro­vin­cial work­ing com­mit­tee has di­rected the ANC pro­vin­cial of­fi­cials to ur­gently and im­me­di­ately in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary mea­sures against com­rade Makhosi,” Ntuli said.

ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Su­per Zuma said the mat­ter had been re­ferred to the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee and the process would start soon.

“She will be taken to a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing. Once the DC takes a de­ci­sion, then that de­ci­sion will be im­ple­mented by the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” said Zuma.

Par­lia­ment on Tues­day pro­vided ex­tra se­cu­rity for Khoza fol­low­ing a se­ries of death threats. Un­fazed about the pos­si­ble dan­ger to her, she has con­tin­ued urg­ing par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to pass a vote of no con­fi­dence in Zuma next month.

Kodwa main­tained that his party’s par­lia­men­tar­i­ans would not vote with the op­po­si­tion, with­out say­ing what ac­tions would be taken against mem­bers that defy the in­struc­tion.

“We do not want to pre-empt what is go­ing to hap­pen post-Au­gust 8 but ANC mem­bers would not vote with the op­po­si­tion to oust its pres­i­dent,” Kodwa said.

He, how­ever, hinted that in the past the ANC had acted se­verely against ANC mem­bers who had be­haved sim­i­larly to Khoza. Kodwa made ref­er­ence to ANC coun­cil­lors in Tlokwe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity – who voted along­side the DA to re­move an ANC coun­cil­lor and mayor Maphetle Maphetle in July 2013.

Last night, Khoza did not re­spond to calls and SMSes.

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