Makhosi launches party for change

2017-11-26 05:59
Makhosi Khoza. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Makhosi Khoza. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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Former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza says her involvement in the formation of a new political party has nothing to do with being a disgruntled former member of the ANC.

Rather, she says, establishing a new party is about taking the baton from an organisation in disarray.

“We thank the ANC for its role,” she said.

“It is our view that the ANC accomplished its mission. Now somebody else must take the struggle forward; the baton must be handed over. The ANC is now negating the struggle we fought for.”

Khoza rose to prominence when she insisted that she would use her conscience to support the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma that was conducted on August 8.

She was believed to be one of the 35 ANC MPs who either supported the motion tabled by the DA or abstained.

Speaking to City Press ahead of the launch of the new party, named Change, Khoza said this organisation would learn from the failures of parties such as Cope and Agang.

The inaugural congress of Change will take place on Friday and Saturday in Gauteng.

The party will see the merger of a number of local organisations, including the Metsimaholo Civic Association and the Forum 4 Service Delivery.

Mpho Ramakatsa and Lufuno Gogoro, prominent former members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have also joined the movement.

“At the founding congress we will work out how the merger will look,” said Khoza.

“We have limited delegation numbers to a maximum of 100. Each organisation will send two to five representatives.

"We have a big block from the National Freedom Party (NFP) – in fact, almost the entire NFP membership, except for those in Parliament, is coming.”

The party will push for radical changes in the political landscape.

Khoza said members would advocate that the president and deputy president to be elected directly by the people of South Africa.

Another ambitious move – which would require a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly – would be for the composition of Parliament to change.

“We believe that 50% of MPs must come directly from constituencies and the other 50% from proportional representation.”

Within the ranks of the party itself, 30% or 40% of MPs will come from civil society organisations, taking the mandate of their constituencies directly to Parliament.

Khoza stressed that this meant that even when the mandate from those constituencies differed from that of the party, the MPs would not be disciplined for taking a different stance.

The interim leadership structure – which will remain in place even after the founding congress – is made up of 10 people.

There is no hierarchy in the structure except for Khoza as leader, which was agreed upon.

The inaugural congress will be dedicated to six people, whom the party has identified as having played a crucial role in South Africa.

They are Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, Fatima Meer, Charlotte Maxeke and Helen Suzman.

Of Suzman, Khoza said: “We believe that she represents resistance even from those people who were associated with white people.

"The fact is that she was the lone voice in Parliament speaking out against apartheid, and one of those women considered the friend of Robben Islanders during the hardest times.

“Another reason for her nomination is that, as someone who was asked to lead this merger, I feel that there were times in Parliament – and especially in the ANC caucus – when I felt I was this lone female voice trying to say: ‘Hang on, we are not going on the right trajectory.’

"I think that kind of resilience to survive in a hostile environment makes for a good role model in South Africa.”

Anticipating questions about the considerable number of political parties currently operating in the country, Khoza said all of the existing ones fell short.

She said the EFF was too radical and its calls for constitutional amendments were premature; that Cope was undermined by egos; and that South Africans did not have confidence in the DA to lead and unite the country.

Read more on:    cope  |  anc  |  agang  |  eff  |  makhosi khoza

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