Johannesburg - African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza on Friday, said that she would not be attending her disciplinary hearing on Sunday, after the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the party's provincial leadership was invalid.
"For that reason alone, apart from the other material flaws in the disciplinary process initiated against me, the rescheduled disciplinary hearing is a nullity and cannot be proceeded with. Any conduct to the contrary will, at the very least, be in constructive contempt of the judgment and unlawful," she wrote in a letter on Friday night.
"It follows as a matter of course that any potential disciplinary steps to be taken, could only be decided upon by a newly elected [Provincial Executive Committee] PEC, after a constitutionally compliant Provincial Elective Conference has taken place and new Provincial Office Bearers have been duly elected."
Khoza addressed her letter to the the presenter of the ANC KZN's disciplinary committee, Ravi Pillay; to ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe; ANC chief whip, Jackson Mthembu; and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.
On September 12, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial ANC elective conference in November 2015 was unlawful. In that conference, then ANC chairperson, Senzo Mchunu, was defeated by then provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and it paved the way for Mchunu’s subsequent removal as KZN Premier in 2016. Some MECs were also removed along with Mchunu in what was seen as purge.
Judge Jerome Dube set aside the conference and its outcomes and ordered Zikalala to pay the costs.
In her letter on Friday, Khoza said that she would deal with her defence at an appropriate time.
"Accordingly it is clear that the invalid disciplinary hearing against me cannot be proceeded with, and that my attendance at such void process is unnecessary. All my rights remain reserved, including seeking such urgent declaratory relief as may be necessary to protect my rights to the fullest," she said.
On September 10, Khoza's disciplinary hearing was postponed to September 17, ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli after Khoza’s attorney Smanga Sithini asked for more time to prepare his case. Sithini arrived at the headquarters 45 minutes after proceedings were set to start at 9am on Sunday morning.
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 page.
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.
Khoza says she has received death threats as a result of her statements and that the life of her daughter has also been threatened. Her attorney Smanga Sithini told the committee that Khoza was not in the province and when she met him on Saturday night she said new threats had surfaced.
On Friday, Police minister Fikile Mbalula said that police had identified a 17-year-old Gugulethu girl as the person sending threatening messages to Khoza and several ministers.
He said that a link had been established between the young woman and the Democratic Alliance (DA) based on “information posted on social networks”, but added that police had not found any official proof that the girl was a member of the DA.
Describing the girl as a “troubled minor”, Mbalula said that investigations included interviewing the girl’s parents, social workers, occupational therapists from the place of safety where the girl was kept and others who had succumbed to her offences.
The young woman had also threatened “about seven people” who were members of the National Assembly, he said, including Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Social Development minister Bathabile Dlamini.