Cape Town – ANC MP Makhosi Khoza insulted some of her colleagues to the point that they no longer wanted to work with her, party chief whip Jackson Mthembu said on Friday.
Khoza on Thursday paid the price for her outspoken criticism of President Jacob Zuma when she was fired as chairperson of the public service and administration portfolio committee.
Five ANC MPs in the committee boycotted a meeting on Tuesday. In a signed letter, they cited Khoza's leadership as the key problem. Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi also failed to attend the meeting.
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The five are Madala Ntombela, Sizani Dlamini-Dubazana, Regina Lesoma, Mervyn Dirks, and Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen.
Mthembu said Khoza had insulted her colleagues in a WhatsApp group for ANC study group members after the meeting. There had also been a few acrimonious exchanges in committee meetings prior to that.
She accused colleagues of being "so desperate to be appointed ministers or deputy minister" and that they had no moral compass.
"These utterances and other Facebook posts led to her alienating ANC members to the point where they could no longer work with her as their leader," Mthembu's spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli told News24.
Directive from the ANC
In the WhatsApp message, Khoza questioned Dlamini-Dubazana's struggle credentials in the 1980s, and asked if she had learnt how to use a computer. She also criticised Muthambi's record in local government.
She said Dirks was a "successful DA recruit", and Newhoudt-Druchen had accused her of things based on lies. She said they were "breaking the ANC and the country" and that she "just wanted them to be normal".
Khoza did not respond to text messages or phone calls on Friday.
Mthembu on Thursday said he received a directive from the ANC to relieve Khoza of her position as committee chairperson. He cited an irretrievable breakdown of relations between herself and ANC MPs on the committee.
"The irretrievable breakdown of relations arises from her public utterances preceding the motion of no confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma and her continued public attacks on ANC leadership and members of her ANC caucus who voted against the motion on 8 August 2017," Mthembu’s statement read.
Her sacking as chairperson was with immediate effect and had been communicated to her. She would remain an ANC MP pending the outcome of disciplinary action being taken against her in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mthembu also said the five MPs who boycotted the meeting were also guilty of ill-discipline.
The ANC Youth League meanwhile welcomed Khoza's removal as chairperson of the portfolio committee, it said in a statement on Friday.
"The removal of Comrade Khoza is long overdue as she has long joined the list of deployees who have and continue to define themselves outside of the mandate and authority of the African National Congress, a culture that threatens the ANC’s organisational legitimacy and integrity and further undermine the faith bestowed upon us by 11 million voters (sic)."