Durban - While Makhosi Khoza, who quit as ANC MP on Thursday, has hinted at forming her own party she has not ruled out the possibility of going back to the ANC - something she said would only happen if the ANC acted harshly against all its “corrupt” leaders, starting with President Jacob Zuma.
“If tomorrow they arrest and charge all the corrupt people, starting with Zuma, and subject them to the same disciplinary process I was subjected to then I will consider going back,” she told The Mercury.
Khoza said she would not make any haphazard decision regarding her next move.
“Going back to politics is one of the options, but I need to think clearly”
She said she would consult with civil society organisations and do thorough research on why parties like Agang and Cope had failed.
She would like to go back to Parliament in 2019 to serve her constituency, something she said was no longer possible when she was an ANC MP.
“I am not going to disappear. They can celebrate, but I will be back. I’m a fighter.”
Despite her stressing the need to respect opposition parties she will not be joining them. “I have great respect for the EFF, but we differ on nationalisation as I do not think nationalisation will work in the current situation.
“Cope is now about positions and the DA is not pushing the African mission enough. I would not go to the IFP, it is like a dinosaur.”
Khoza was one of Zuma’s most outspoken critics within the ANC, but this, she said, had led to some comrades making life unbearable for her.
“They break you on a daily basis. They also break your children. They were saying to my children I was part of the people who killed my husband.”
Asked why she did not remain inside the ANC, Khoza said: “Unless you want me to end up like (slain former ANCYL secretary-general) Sindiso Magaqa, you would not ask me that question.”
Khoza said corruption had become institutionalised in the ANC and was being tolerated. “If we were to prosecute all known corruption cases almost 80% to 90% of the ANC leadership at all levels of government would have to replace their shiny tailored suits and pretty dresses with orange (Correctional Services) overalls. Their only natural home is in prison.”
Khoza feels the ANC is “too broken” to be fixed and does not have faith that any leadership elected in December will return the party to its former glory. “All the people contesting the positions have been in the NEC, they collapsed the ANC. So what are they going to do (differently) now?”
The 48-year-old politician agonised over her decision to leave the party she has been active in since the age of 12. “It is like going through a divorce. I cried and prayed very hard. Today, I was even wearing my rosary.”
ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said the party was not surprised by the move. “She wanted us to remove her from Parliament and fire her so that she could get sympathy and be more attractive to the enemies of the ANC, but we are more intelligent than she is.”
Ntuli said Khoza was just using Zuma as a scapegoat, saying she could have waited because Zuma is approaching the end of his term as both president of the ANC and head of state. “The reason she could not wait is because she wants to build her own national credibility.”
ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said while the party cannot celebrate losing a member, it was unfazed.
“She had long left the ANC, the announcement was just a formality. The ANC has more than 1 million members and we are not angry about her option.”
Khoza had not informed the ANC officially of her decision to leave the party, said Kodwa.
Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni believes that Khoza has a new political party in mind. “I doubt she is acting on her own. She started a journey with a number of like-minded people who understand the project they are embarking on - a political project.”
Mnguni said there was a great appetite for a new political party in South Africa and Khoza had to make sure she aligned herself with the right people.