Khoza quits lec­ture af­ter two fac­tions face off

Con­fronta­tion be­tween sup­port­ers, op­po­nents

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BONGANI HANS

EM­BAT­TLED ANC MP Makhosi Khoza was yes­ter­day forced to with­draw from de­liv­er­ing a lec­ture in mem­ory of Oliver Tambo in Dur­ban af­ter her ad­ver­saries, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s sup­port­ers, al­legedly threat­ened her.

Khoza had been in­vited to de­liver the lec­ture by the Young Com­mu­nist League of South Africa in Inanda’s Ward 57, north of Dur­ban.

She was go­ing to speak at Tambo Plaza Hall, which is near the home of ANC’s eThek­wini re­gional chair­per­son and eThek­wini Mu­nic­i­pal­ity mayor Zandile Gumede.

The sit­u­a­tion be­came very tense when Khoza’s sup­port­ers and pro-Zuma ANC sup­port­ers had a con­fronta­tion.

Both fac­tions had armed them­selves with bush knives, firearms, sticks and stones and looked ready to pounce on each other, but po­lice ar­rived to sep­a­rate them.

An SACP ac­tivist, Non­tokozo Nsele, sus­tained a head in­jury from a stone ap­par­ently thrown from the crowd, whose mem­bers were mostly wear­ing ANC T-shirts.

Nsele said she and other SACP mem­bers were walk­ing to the hall when they were con­fronted by ANC sup­port­ers.

“With­out provo­ca­tion they swore at us and at­tacked us with stones,” said Nsele.

YCL sec­re­tary in the area Nduduzo Chamane de­scribed Ward 57 as be­ing “the twin sis­ter of Ward four in Nt­shanga” when it came to ten­sions be­tween ANC and SACP sup­port­ers. Nt­shanga, in the west of Dur­ban, was once no­to­ri­ous for po­lit­i­cal mur­ders due to ten­sions within the al­liance.

Khoza is cur­rently in trou­ble with the ANC na­tion­ally and in KwaZulu-Na­tal for call­ing for a se­cret bal­lot in the mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence in Zuma.

She will be ap­pear­ing be­fore the ANC KZN dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee on Septem­ber 10. At­tempts to get her to com­ment on the Inanda in­ci­dent failed as her phone re­mained off yes­ter­day.

Chamane said Zuma’s sup­port­ers had started on Mon­day to mo­bilise 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 to the ANC na­tion­ally,” said Chamane.

He said SACP mem­bers in Inanda had in­vited Khoza to tell her that they shared her views about Zuma.

“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 the South African so­ci­ety is say­ing ‘enough is enough’ and she is pre­pared to vote with her con­science, which is what we sup­port,” said Chamane.

YCLSA deputy na­tional sec­re­tary Isaac Luthuli said af­ter yes­ter­day morn­ing’s in­ci­dent Khoza de­cided to with­draw from the lec­ture.

“She is no longer com­ing be­cause of th­ese peo­ple (point­ing at Zuma sup­port­ers). 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 spokesman Mdu­miseni Ntuli.

Ntuli dis­tanced the ANC lead­er­ship from peo­ple who had gath­ered to in­tim­i­date Khoza. He said he was not even aware of the lec­ture. He said it could not be con­cluded that those who had caused the dis­rup­tion were Zuma sup­port­ers be­cause the “SACP also wear ANC T-shirts with Zuma’s head”.

“It does not mean that the SACP is ho­mo­ge­neous. I am also a mem­ber of the SACP and I wear ANC T-shirts. If we want to be nar­row we should as­sume that those peo­ple be­longed to the ANC. Those peo­ple might be SACP mem­bers who do not agree with Makhosi’s views,” he said.

How­ever, Ntuli called for tol­er­ance and said Khoza “like any other com­rade” should be al­lowed to de­liver lec­tures if she had been in­vited by “any mem­ber of the al­liance”.

“Pre­vent­ing her from speak­ing at an event while those who are do­ing so are wear­ing ANC re­galia is un­called for,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the or­gan­is­ers of the event, Khoza was sup­posed to speak about her views on Zuma. Ntuli said for her to do so would be wrong as “she has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­spect a de­ci­sion to charge her with mis­con­duct”.

“She must make sure that she does not make her con­di­tions ag­gra­vated. I would want to be­lieve that she is ma­ture enough to un­der­stand the im­pli­ca­tions of do­ing or say­ing some­thing that com­pro­mises her be­fore the case,” said Ntuli.

De­liv­er­ing the lec­ture as a re­place­ment for Khoza, Luthuli said the “cor­rupt” be­hav­iour of Zuma and his cronies had a worse ef­fect than that of drug ad­dicts who steal pots from their fam­i­lies to “in­dulge in whoonga and later re­turn home to ex­pect supper”.

“This is not worse than what Zuma is do­ing to the ANC and the al­liance. OR (Tambo) was not a pres­i­dent of fac­tion­al­ism as op­posed to the cur­rent pres­i­dent,” said Luthuli.

Zuma is like a drug ad­dict steal­ing fam­ily pots for his whoonga

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