Khoza pays price for criticism

Cape Town – Dissident ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza paid the price for her outspoken criticism of President Jacob Zuma when she was fired as the chairperson of the portfolio committee on public service and administration on Thursday.

This after she chaired a meeting where the committee had decided to summon Minister of Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi.

The minister had failed to appear at a meeting on Tuesday to answer allegations of nepotism and the misuse of funds.

Read more: Faith-less committee will have Muthambi pay for her absence

In a press statement, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said he received a directive from the ANC to "relieve" Khoza from her position as chairperson of the committee "owing to the irretrievable breakdown of relations between herself and ANC members of 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," reads Mthembu’s statement.

This after five members of the committee refused to attend the committee’s meeting on Tuesday.

Boycott 

The letter to Mthembu, signed by Zephroma Dlamini-Dubazana, Madala Ntombela, Mervyn Dirks, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen and Regina Lesoma refers to the ANC’s rules on conduct expected of its members.

"We strongly object to be led by Dr M. Khoza as the chairperson of the committee and member of the Study Group since it is our view that she has violated the ANC rule mentioned above," reads the letter.

"Furthermore, we as the Study Group members have taken the decision to suspend all Study Group/Portfolio Committee meetings until the conduct of Dr M. Khoza is addressed."

According to Mthembu, "comrade Khoza’s continued public attacks have led to her alienating ANC members of parliament, including those in her committee, resulting in an ill-advised and out-of-line decision to boycott any activity she is involved in.

"The erosion of trust in her as a chairperson has also led to acrimonious verbal exchanges between her and members of the study group in meetings and on social media.

"The decision to relieve her as chairperson comes after numerous failed attempts by the leadership of the organisation to council her on her behaviour."

According to Mthembu, this decision has been communicated to Khoza.

She is released from her position of chairperson with immediate effect, but remains an ANC MP pending the outcome of disciplinary action taken against her by the organisation.

Disciplinary process 

The entire ANC component of the committee will also be reconfigured with the view of strengthening the work of this committee.

The ANC caucus disciplinary process against those members of the study group who boycotted the portfolio committee meeting on Tuesday is already underway, Mthembu said.

Khoza was not available for comment on Thursday afternoon.

In February, Khoza was appointed as the chairperson of the portfolio committee of public service and administration after serving on the finance committee.

She came to prominence in 2016 as the chairperson of the ad hoc committee that appointed the public protector, and as a member of the ad hoc committee that investigated the SABC board.

This is where she showed disdain for maladministration, corruption and scant regard for political expediency, including a vociferous interrogation of then communications minister Muthambi, who was found by the ad hoc committee to be "incompetent" in this post.

Muthambi isn’t the only minister whose feathers Khoza has ruffled.

Earlier in 2017, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had to intervene after Jeff Radebe complained that Khoza had "a personal vendetta" against him, after a portfolio committee meeting where members, including Khoza, were critical of Radebe’s department of planning, monitoring and evaluation, City Press reported in May.

Read more: Jeff Radebe vs Makhosi Khoza

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