Durban - Outspoken African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza has pledged to accept the outcome of her disciplinary hearing in Durban regardless of the decision made.
Khoza failed to arrive for her disciplinary hearing which was set to start at 9am on Sunday morning. Instead, her attorney Smanga Sithini arrived at the ANC provincial headquarters in Durban, the venue for the hearing, 45 minutes after proceedings were due to start.
Sithini refused to speak to media and instead rushed into the building, acknowledging he was late.
Khoza told the African News Agency (ANA) on Saturday evening via SMS that she would not make the hearing. “I’m having difficulty with being there at 9am. My attorney will be there. I could not get flights to get me there at 9am,” she said.
Khoza was charged in July for, among other things, ill discipline, failing to comply with ANC policy, provoking division, and bringing the party into disrepute, with all but one of these relating to posts she made on her Facebook account.
She has been a vehement critic of President Jacob Zuma and his fitness to lead the ANC. Her provocative behaviour has earned Khoza many critics but has also seen her garner a large and sympathetic group of supporters who were posting encouraging messages on her Facebook page on Saturday.
On Sunday, she posted on her page that "by the end of today I may possibly be stripped of my black, green, and gold brand. I do not mind. I joined the ANC because of the love I have for my country and its people".
"If we disagree on this fundamental point of convergence I have no business to be in that organisation because that which has bound us for 35 years has been broken. I shall never trade truth with a job, position, brand, or anything. Whatever outcome I'll accept with both hands and be free to exercise my constitutional right to moral conscience. Yes! I will rise. I'm ahead," she wrote in her Facebook post.
"The most rare valuable asset I treasure is my moral reflective capacity of distinguishing between wrong and right. None can take this away from me. As James Allen puts it, 'as the man thinkest in his heart, so is he'. I am more determined than yesterday. I cannot be silenced. My people have been suffering for centuries. They continue suffering because good men and women keep quiet and tolerate mediocrity. I refuse and am ready to pay whatever price.
"President Zuma announced that South Africa prioritises mathematics and science in memory of OR Tambo. At least in this one, I agree with you Mr President. The only difference between you and I on this point, is that I am not a typical politician because I'm not a fan of slogans nor do I find comfort in lies and deceit. I am a practical woman whose main purpose in this life is to restore the dignity of black Africans, aBantu specifically and unite all the people of God on the same baseline, so we may all have equal chances of success in life.
"It is very dangerous to be a member of the ANC today if you do not protect corruption. Those who fight corruption are persecuted. Why was comrade Senzo Mchunu removed as a premier [of KwaZulu-Natal]? He could not tolerate corruption. Why is Makhosi Khoza persecuted? She hates corruption," Khoza wrote.
On Friday, Khoza told ANA that she feared being “gunned down” on her way to the disciplinary hearing. Khoza has said publicly that she has received numerous death threats because of her statements and the life of her daughter has also been threatened.
KwaZulu-Natal has seen so many politically linked killings in the past few years that premier Willies Mchunu established the Moerane Commission of Inquiry in 2016 to probe the violence. The commission has heard testimony from numerous witnesses that the killings are linked to a desire for political positions and greed.
ANC KwaZulu-Natal disciplinary committee chairwoman Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu told journalists that the hearing would continue whether Khoza was present or not. She said Khoza had a right to bring a representative to the proceedings but that person had to be an ANC member.
“If you are not an ANC member you can’t represent. The representative will state [Khoza’s] case and let us know how she pleads,” she said.