Khoza dis­ci­plinary hear­ing seen as fu­tile

The Star Late Edition - - POLITICS - BON­GANI HANS

EM­BAT­TLED ANC MP Makhosi Khoza’s lawyer has warned the ANC in Kwa Zulu-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 Kwa Zulu-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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