‘Ac­tion against Khoza not a threat to other MPs’

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAY­I­BONGWE MAQHINA

THE ANC has dis­missed sug­ges­tions that the dis­ci­plinary charges lev­elled against its de­fi­ant MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza, was a warn­ing shot to those who wanted to vote against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in Par­lia­ment on Au­gust 8.

And ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa was also adamant that Zuma would ad­dress the Women’s Day cel­e­bra­tions as head of state on Au­gust 9.

“Pres­i­dent Zuma, whether there is a se­cret bal­lot or not on Au­gust 8, will ad­dress the Women’s Day cel­e­bra­tions the fol­low­ing day as pres­i­dent of the coun­try and as the pres­i­dent of the ANC,” Kodwa told The Star yes­ter­day.

The ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) has taken a de­ci­sion that the party’s pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives should not vote with the op­po­si­tion to un­seat Zuma.

This came in the wake of the NEC throw­ing its weight be­hind Zuma af­ter he twice sur­vived calls to step down made by se­nior party mem­bers such as Joel Net­shiten­zhe and Derek Hanekom at NEC meet­ings.

The party’s stance has prompted calls within civil so­ci­ety and the op­po­si­tion that Speaker Baleka Mbete should de­cide on a se­cret bal­lot for the mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence on Au­gust 8.

There is wide­spread be­lief that some ANC MPs who are un­happy with Zuma would vote him out if Mbete granted the se­cret bal­lot.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties have been claim­ing that they were aware of some ANC MPs who wished for a se­cret bal­lot, fear­ing the con­se­quence if they voted oth­er­wise in an open bal­lot.

At least 51 ANC MPs need to vote with the op­po­si­tion to ob­tain a 201 sim­ple ma­jor­ity, if the mo­tion is to suc­ceed.

Khoza is but one who came out in the open to call on Zuma to step down and asked Mbete to de­cide on a se­cret bal­lot, af­ter she re­ceived death threats when she main­tained that she would vote with her con­science.

Kodwa would not spec­u­late on what would hap­pen to MPs who would break ranks.

“We can’t spec­u­late on what will hap­pen,” he said be­fore dis­miss­ing sug­ges­tions that the ac­tion against Khoza was a mes­sage to other ANC MPs to toe the line.

Khoza, who is ac­cused of breach­ing 11 party rules, has not been sus­pended.

Kodwa said it was disin­gen­u­ous for peo­ple and op­po­si­tion par­ties play­ing dou­ble stan­dards to ex­pect ANC MPs to vote against their own when other par­ties did not do the same.

“In Mo­gale City, the EFF is tak­ing ac­tion against the coun­cil­lors who voted against its coun­cil po­si­tion,” he pointed out. “In the de­bate in the West­ern Cape Leg­is­la­ture on the mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence in Premier He­len Zille, the DA will ex­pect its MPLs to toe the party line,” Kodwa added.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Pro­tas Mad­lala said the chances were slim that Mbete would de­cide on a se­cret bal­lot.

“The court did not in­struct her, but it said she must use her dis­cre­tion,” Mad­lala said.

He added that it was un­likely that ANC MPs, es­pe­cially those in the ex­ec­u­tive, would vote them­selves out of their jobs.

“If there is a hand­ful of them, the ques­tion is whether they will be the ma­jor­ity, but I doubt it,” said Mad­lala.

He added that it was com­mon for par­ties to ex­pect their mem­bers not to vote against a party de­ci­sion.

FOR a while, Dr Makhosi Khoza held the moral high ground with the chat­ter­ing classes. She be­came their dar­ling when she crit­i­cised her party and her leader, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, in pub­lic and asked him to step down.

But she didn’t stop there. She made it clear that she, a mem­ber of the ANC in Par­lia­ment, would vote with the op­po­si­tion on Au­gust 8 when Zuma faces a vote of no con­fi­dence in the Na­tional Assem­bly. And she would do so whether or not the vote was held in se­cret.

She gained sym­pa­thy when it emerged her life and the lives of her fam­ily had been threat­ened – yet no­body seemed to care much.

When the ANC said they would haul her be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing, she claimed she was be­ing tar­geted be­cause she was a woman.

What’s more, she claimed she was be­ing made an ex­am­ple of to pre­vent other MPs from be­ing out­spo­ken. But a some­what dif­fer­ent pic­ture has emerged. Khoza has been charged all right, but the charges are not for crit­i­cis­ing Zuma or cam­paign­ing against him in the run-up to the vote of no con­fi­dence.

In­stead, she has been charged with rais­ing is­sues out­side of the es­tab­lished ANC struc­tures.

Put sim­ply, Khoza ran to so­cial me­dia and the tra­di­tional me­dia, in­stead of rais­ing her is­sues within her party. Most re­cently, she had the op­tion of do­ing so at the ANC’s pol­icy con­fer­ence, but chose not to.

What’s more, when party lead­ers tried to call her to dis­cuss her griev­ances, she did not take their calls or get back to them.

The date Khoza will ap­pear be­fore a dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee is also in­ter­est­ing… the mat­ter has been set down for Septem­ber 10.

That is more than a month af­ter the vote of no con­fi­dence in Zuma takes place in Par­lia­ment.

So, bar­ring Khoza be­ing sus­pended, she will take part in the vote and, in all like­li­hood, will vote against Zuma.

All of this tells us two things: First, the charges the ANC has brought against Khoza seem to be more about party dis­ci­pline than pro­tect­ing Zuma.

Sec­ond, the ANC is so con­fi­dent that Zuma will sur­vive the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence on Au­gust 8, they don’t need Khoza’s vote.

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