ANC MP says party can't ignore public sentiment
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ANC MP Makhosi Khoza has broken ranks with her party leadership and stopped just short of calling for the recall of President Zuma, saying the party will face dire consequences if it ignores the sentiments of society.
She cautioned that while the ANC as the majority party can easily fend off the motion of no confidence against Zuma, flexing its muscle would be wrong.
Speaking to Cape Times’ sister newspaper The Mercury yesterday, Khoza said the ruling party should not flex its “quantitative muscle” but should act in a way that shows it is in touch with the public. The outspoken former KwaZulu-Natal MPL believes the ANC should try to prevent the vote of no confidence by taking a decision that will show it is sensitive to concerns raised by the public.
”My thoughts are that instead of trying to sway us for or against the motion, our leadership should be trying to prevent the vote of no confidence by finding a solution that will restore the image of the ANC in the eyes of the public.”
Khoza felt that, no matter what the outcome of the vote, the ANC stood to lose and should rather act quickly.
“If we vote in favour of the motion we will be saying to the DA and the EFF, you have been right all along. But if we vote against it we will be saying to the millions of South Africans: we do not care what you think.”
She was speaking a day after she posted a scathing attack on the ANC leadership on Facebook. In her post she said the “politics of patronage have finally claimed the sanity of my ANC leadership. A triumphant story has turned tragic in my lifetime”.
This was seen as a bold defiance of the party’s directive calling on members to refrain from public spats.
She continued: “I am led by an injudicious leadership who are deleterious of ANC relevance and lifespan. We are directed to maintain unity at all cost even if it leads us into the ditch. We are instructed to follow directionless directives without questioning or raising the risks and concerns.”
She said the ANC could not afford to ignore concerns raised by the public and dissenting voices, including those at the anti-Zuma marches around the country on Friday.
“As a leader of society we are still building a non-racial society. How then are we going to ignore those marches that have a non-racial character?”
She said by choosing to see the marches as a conspiracy, the ANC leaders had shown a “definitive sign of irrelevance and chronic (in)capacity”.
Asked whether she did not fear reprisals for her actions, Khoza said raising issues within structures was a tough task because the structures were also “highly polluted”.
She urged her party not to ignore the views of the public. “I am in Parliament because 11 million people voted for the ANC. Less than a million of those people are ANC members. Are we simply going to ignore the 10 million on the basis that they are not ANC members?” she asked.
Khoza warned the ANC that it was standing on an “immoral platform”. She said she did not feel like what she said was in breach of the ANC constitution.
She said that her outspokenness had in the past cost her her job as the then chair of Scopa – the finance watchdog committee – in the KZN legislature.
“I have a PhD which is not honorary… If I don’t use that qualification for the benefit of society, then it is not worth the paper it is written on.
“Leaders like Charlotte Maxeke challenged the leadership of the ANC when women were not allowed to be members of the party. We would not have women leaders today were it not for that courage.”
Responding to Khoza’s statements, the ANC’s Khusela Sangoni said members of the party who want to raise issues knew how and where to do that.
“Throwing hands in the air and saying structures are polluted is not good enough because the structures are a function of the work we do collectively. Those who feel that the structures are polluted should come and contribute towards fixing those.”