Khoza disciplinary hearing seen as futile
EMBATTLED ANC MP Makhosi Khoza’s lawyer has warned the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal to suspend the disciplinary hearing against his client due to take place in Durban on Sunday, calling it a futile exercise.
Advocate Smanga Sethene was adamant yesterday that the hearing should not go ahead despite the provincial executive committee (PEC) insisting that it would continue disciplining Khoza despite the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling that the body had been elected unlawfully.
The ruling, delivered on Tuesday by Judge Jerome Mnguni, was in favour of four supporters aligned to former premier and party provincial chairperson Senzo Mchunu’s supporters. The ruling declared that the party had breached its constitution by holding a provincial conference in 2015 instead of 2016.
However, the PEC on Wednesday and in defiance of the national executive committee’s (NEC) decision announced that it planned to launch an appeal against the court ruling. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe had said only the NEC (and not provincial structures) can decide whether to appeal or not.
Party provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli had said the PEC would still continue prosecuting Khoza because the “court nullified the conference, but the PEC can only be dissolved by the NEC and not by the court”.
Sethene disagreed, saying the PEC should abide by the court ruling and cease making further decisions.
“Once a court has declared a structure to have been elected inconsistent with the (ANC’s) constitution, that structure ceases to have any jurisdiction to exercise authority over any person,” he said.
There appears to be confusion around whether the PEC can continue with business as usual in the wake of this week’s judgment. Ntuli said although the committee is part of the PEC structure, it operates independently, and therefore it would continue with the Khoza hearing as scheduled.
Sethene had planned to meet Khoza yesterday evening to take instruction on whether to attend the hearings. The disciplinary committee could pass a verdict against Khoza in her absence.
Khoza had protested against having to appear before the committee in KwaZulu-Natal because of threats made to her life.
Sethene said the ANC constitution provided for a hearing to take place in another conference should those expected to appear feel that their lives were at risk.
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