Makhosi Khoza reveals daughter has received death threats

Speakers at a public debate on the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma: Steven Friedman, Bantu Holomisa and Dr Makhosi Khoza. (Paul Herman, News24)
Speakers at a public debate on the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma: Steven Friedman, Bantu Holomisa and Dr Makhosi Khoza. (Paul Herman, News24)

Cape Town - ANC MP Makhosi Khoza has revealed that her daughter has also been receiving death threats from the same people intimidating her, one as recently as Tuesday.

Khoza was speaking at a public debate in Salt River on whether the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma should be held via secret ballot or not.

It included Professor Steven Friedman and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa.

"It is extremely important that we understand the exceptional circumstances. A lot of people are being intimidated, and it's coming from all angles..." Khoza said.

"Even today, they didn't send it to me, they have sent it to my daughter...

"Why should I die in silence?" she later asked.

She also told the audience that she had still not received any formal protection, either from Parliament or the ruling party.

She told reporters on the sidelines afterwards that it was one thing for people to threaten her personally, but it was another when it was her family members and her children.

She was being helped by volunteers, who have come to her aid in protecting her and her family.

Khoza has been outspoken about her views that Zuma should step down. A Facebook post she posted in April attracted threats from the ANC Youth League in eThekwini, who circulated her address on social media.

She has also received threats following oversight work she had done in the Mpumalanga health services.

She revealed last week that she had written to Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete requesting the motion of no confidence vote be done through secret ballot for safety reasons.

Also read: ANC, please protect Makhosi Khoza

Intimidation, democracy, secret ballot

Both Khoza and Holomisa argued for the use of a secret ballot, while Friedman argued against it.

Holomisa said a big part of the reason his party applied for access to the Constitutional Court was because ANC MPs were "receiving instructions" on how to vote, rather than through legitimate processes of caucusing.

He said the vote would protect those ANC MPs who wanted to vote with their conscience.

Khoza also said that the public marches across the country by "civil society" had swayed her view as a ruling party MP.

"On April 7, tens of thousands of South Africans took to the streets to give a mandate and say enough is enough.

"Now how does one divorce one's moral conscience from the very people who elected us?"

If she or anyone else were to vote on a motion, they wouldn't be voting for the UDM, or the DA, but for the people of the country, and the Constitution. This was greeted by cheers from the crowd.

'Can't defeat evil by breaking the rules'

Friedman though argued it would be a very slippery slope to allow a secret ballot to be used as an exceptional case.

"If we try and break the rules, we may land up with another evil later down the line."

He said opening the secret ballot up now could lead to abuse in the long term for issues that needed to be transparent, so that the public could see what their democratically-elected MPs were doing.

It would also send a message that parties with nefarious means need only to harass enough MPs in order to force another secret ballot.

If they had enough money and the will they would be able to control the system through intimidation, he argued.

South Africa had been operating through a certain, open system for many years, and it was through that system that it would need to find a solution.

In closing, Khoza said both arguments were convincing, but that the country found itself in a unique space at the moment.

South Africa's democracy was also being fleshed out, and the calls for a secret ballot were part of that process.

She doesn't believe South Africa will ever have another president like Zuma again, or at least she "hoped not".

Holomisa said the results would ultimately put the African National Congress under the microscope, as they are being forced to defend a president who has lied to them.

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