Defiant ANC MP Makhosi Khoza. File picture: Reuters
Parliament - Mixed reactions greeted news of defiant ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza's sacking on Thursday when she became the first casualty as the fallout over President Jacob Zuma’s motion of no confidence deepened.

The ANC Youth League charged that Khoza had to be thrown out of Parliament at once.

The party announced on Thursday that she had been sacked as the chairperson of the public service and administration committee - just a day after Minister Faith Muthambi failed to pitch up at the committee's meeting to explain allegations that she splurged thousands of taxpayers' money on family and friends during a luxury trip.

The ANC’s alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu, Thursday rejected Khoza’s ousting, after warning earlier in the week that purging her would divide the ruling party.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said they had received a “directive from the organisation to relieve” Khoza as head of the committee “owing to the irretrievable breakdown of relations between herself and ANC members of the committee”.

ANC Youth League secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza said removing Khoza from the committee was not enough.

“She must be removed from Parliament and be purged from the organisation. She is working with opposition forces to collapse the government,” he charged.

SACP acting national spokesperson Mhlekwa Nxumalo told The Star that the decision was a product of the infighting within the ANC.

“It seems there is a dominant faction that seems to be getting everything they want from the ANC. This decision is going to cause more problems in the ANC.”

Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the ANC needed to acknowledge it was in trouble, adding that “President Zuma is one of the most polarising figures we have ever had”.

He said: “Over a decade that he (Zuma) has been in charge, the ANC has been purging people. Cope is as a result of Zuma coming into power, the EFF is a result of Zuma’s leadership, and the Cosatu versus Numsa and Vavi saga had a lot to do with Zuma as a leader of the alliance.”

Pamla said all the issues pointed to the fact that the ruling party needed to reflect.

He described Zuma as a “very compromised leader who is taking the organisation down. The ANC has to ask itself: ‘Is it worth it to defend one man?’”

However, Zuma’s supporters within the ANC expressed happiness over the decision, saying it was long overdue.

Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said: “It’s long overdue. She was supposed to be removed when she started behaving in an ill-disciplined manner.

"The ANC decision is correct and we support it because she publicly defied the party and voted with the opposition.”

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa directed questions to the ANC caucus in Parliament, saying only: “It’s them who can explain why there was a decision taken.”

The Star