Johannesburg - Outspoken MP Makhosi Khoza seems to have chickened out of commenting on the no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday.
This follows the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal calling on party leaders, members and supporters to “refrain from participating in social networks in a manner that compromises the unity of the movement”.
Khoza, a fierce Zuma critic, told The Star on Wednesday that she would respond extensively on Thursday on the failed motion conducted by secret ballot in the National Assembly.
On Thursday, Khoza said she would release a detailed statement on her Facebook page and via email, after it had been screened by a friend. She had sought a second opinion on the much-anticipated statement because “I can be a bit rough at times”.
However, by the time of publication, she had not done so, and subsequent calls to her cellphone went to voicemail.
This after ANC KZN spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli called on the party’s leadership to act “decisively” against ANC MPs found to have voted with the opposition.
The watershed motion, in which 384 MPs voted, saw 177 voting in favour of Zuma’s removal, while 198 wanted him to keep his job. There were nine abstentions.
This means that 35 ANC MPs voted with their conscience and defied the ANC’s orders to reject the motion.
Zuma’s supporters within the party have called for a witch-hunt of those found to have defied the organisation. However, the ANC, through its spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, rejected the proposal.
Ntuli said they had noted a media post purportedly by a member of the ANC’s eThekwini regional executive committee, alleging that “R2billion (was) used to influence voting in the National Assembly”.
The comrade, he said, had been “directed” to withdraw the statement and apologise unconditionally within 48 hours “for his unfounded assertion”.
“It is our firm view that during this hour of challenges and difficulties our movement must close ranks while acting firmly against those furthering divisions,” he said.
In the build-up to the vote, ANC MPs including Khoza, Mondli Gungubele and axed ministers Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom, called on Zuma to step down, saying they would vote with their consciences.
It was the first time that ANC MPs voted with the opposition for the ousting of a sitting presidency.
Ntuli said this had caused “deep pain and disappointment”.
Kodwa said the ANC’s position had always been that they would support whatever decision National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete took on the voting procedure.