ANC MP Khoza bemoans party's no confidence dilemma

2017-04-11 12:01
Dr Makhosi Khoza (Jan Gerber, Netwerk24)

Dr Makhosi Khoza (Jan Gerber, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza says her party could have handled the upcoming motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma better, as it is now caught between choosing the party or society.

ANC MPs were now "in the lion's den" amid widespread calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign from office this past week, she told News24 on Monday.

"Whichever way we vote as the ANC, we are going to be dividing society," she said ahead of next Tuesday’s motion.

"If you are going to go into Parliament and use your numbers, and disregard whatever else has been said, you are actually alienating a lot of people, who are considering you a leader of society."

Ideally, the ANC ought to have prevented a vote of no confidence by asking society to allow the party to "take the correct decision" at its consultative conference in June.

'ANC should not ignore marchers'

If the party "had the will", it could have decided differently and decisively on the matter to mitigate society's fears, within its structures.

Whichever move they make, it would either break or build society, she said, both at home and also in its work on the rest of the African continent.

"Even if we win in numbers, we will not win as ANC."

Khoza, who is chairperson of the portfolio committee on public service and administration, criticised the ANC’s leadership failures in a Facebook post this week.

She told News24 her party should not completely disregard the message of over 60 000 South Africans who marched against Zuma on Friday.

 - READ MORE: Khoza slams ANC leadership

"Of the 11 million people who voted for the ANC in 2014, only around one million are paid-up members of the party," she said.

Many of the other 10 million who voted for the party could have participated in Friday's marches.

"The ANC cannot afford to be inward-looking here.

"If we ignore this, we are going to find the ANC out of power."

Khoza said she decided to express her views publicly because she could not remember society marching in those numbers for a single cause in post-democratic South Africa. The last time was in the 1980s.

'We must be empathetic'

"I am seeing an ANC that is saying, let's unite, let's use our numbers, and not asking, 'Is there a legitimate reason for people to leave their working day on a Friday to march?'

"There must be a reason. We must be empathetic."

She said she didn't see elements of racism in the pictures of the marches she saw, but did not rule out that it could have happened elsewhere.

President Jacob Zuma said on Monday that the marches were racist.

"Placards at the marches depicting monkeys indicated that our white counterparts view black people as less of human beings," he said at the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the assassination of SACP leader Chris Hani.

Khoza referred to the ANC's founding values.

"Nothing I'm saying is not in the party's Constitution. I'm not saying anything new or reinventing anything.

"If the vision we have for society is still to build a non-racial, non-sexist society, and for us to be leaders, we should be saying, what is in the best interest of this society?"

On Tuesday, former president Thabo Mbeki said MPs did not have to vote according to party lines in the motion of no confidence against Zuma.

"It is therefore obvious and logical that Members of Parliament (MPs), each elected to this position by the people as a whole, and never by individual political parties, including their own, must act in Parliament as the voice of the people, not the voice of the political parties to which they might belong," he wrote in a letter published in The Star.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  makhosi khoza  |  cape town  |  cabinet reshuffle  |  politics

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