Out of Action — Makhosi Khoza handed marching orders from ActionSA
Just four months after the local government elections, the embattled former ANC MP has been ejected from Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA party.
ActionSA has written to the Speaker of eThekwini, Thabani Nyawose, informing him about its intention to replace Dr Makhosi Khoza as a councillor and chairperson of Municipality Public Accounts Committee (Mpac).
Khoza was one of four councillors representing ActionSA in the eThekwini Municipality. Trouble for her started in January this year when ActionSA asked her to relinquish her position as the party’s KZN provincial chairperson.
Nyawose confirmed that Khoza is no longer a councillor. “This morning (Tuesday) I received a letter from ActionSA stating that they want to replace Dr Makhosi Khoza as the councillor. I acknowledged receiving that letter. Now Makhosi Khoza is no longer a councillor in eThekwini Municipality. We will wait for Action SA to give us the name of the councillor who will replace her.
Nyawose added that since Khoza is no longer a councillor, she automatically ceases to be the chairperson of Mpac.
ActionSA issued a statement on Tuesday morning saying the party’s senate, its highest body, has decided to terminate the membership of Khoza. She had faced a number of disciplinary cases, including bringing the party into disrepute, making numerous public utterances and comments made to the media which were deemed to have been made with the intention of bringing ActionSA into disrepute.
See previous article on the leadup to the announcement by ActionSA here:
These charges stemmed from what the party termed as Khoza’s collusion with the ANC in winning this hung municipality in exchange for ANC’s voting for her to clinch the Mpac chairperson’s position. She has also publicly contradicted ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba.
The party said a disciplinary panel tabled a 24-page report, indicating that Dr Khoza had not challenged the evidence placed before the panel and the panel had no choice other than to consider the case in terms of whether the conduct of Dr Khoza could be excused.
“There is no reasonable explanation for her continued abuse of the Party, which she purports to promote. As a high standing member of the Party, she disregards the reputational damage to the party, for apparent publicity and self-gain. Her loyalties do not lie with ActionSA and instead, lie with aspiring to grow her own political aspirations, at the great cost of her constituency and ActionSA,” the party said in a statement.
Michael Beaumont, national chairperson of ActionSA, said the disciplinary process which found Dr Khoza guilty was fair and the party is optimistic that it will prevail if Dr Khoza decides to challenge the process in court.
“The bottom line here is that any individual whose membership has been terminated cannot be a public representative of that party because the premise of being a public representative of the party is that the individual must be a member of that party,” he said.
Beaumont said it was a lie that Dr Khoza had won the seats on her own in KZN as it was her face and not that of party leader Mashaba that was on the election posts.
“That kind of thinking is very silly ………because it was Herman Mashaba who established this political party. I went to a number of campaigns in communities in KZN where Herman Mashaba was leading the campaign and we did very well and won many seats in these areas.
“I would suggest that our campaign in eThekwini, where we won only 2% of the vote, was hardly something that anyone can claim as an achievement. In many ways, ActionSA looks at that election results as one of the weakest in the six municipalities in which we fought.
“I also think it is mischievous for any individual to try and own the achievement of ActionSA, especially when those achievements were delivered by thousands and thousands of volunteers, who collectively should own those achievements. No individual can write off those volunteers out of the story,” Beaumont said.
Dr Khoza is outspoken public representative who has had a checkered political career. She was a “rabble-rouser” MP, in particular during former president Jacob Zuma’s second term.
In 2017, she resigned from the ANC, saying that the party was protecting corrupt leaders. She formed her own political party, African Democratic Change, which kicked her out after a dispute with other party leaders.
Then she joined the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), an anti-corruption advocacy organisation focused on tackling government corruption and misappropriation of public funds, as the head of its local government programme. Khoza left after eight months, only to emerge a few months later under the ActionSA tent. Later she was appointed as the party’s interim KZN leader.
Attempts to contact Khoza on Tuesday were unsuccessful as her phone rang into voicemail. She did, however, respond to the WhatsApp message sent to her by Daily Maverick. When asked whether she had heard about the termination of her membership by ActionSA, she responded: “I heard the news from Newzroom Afrika this morning. I don’t have a comment.”
She did not respond to further queries.
Wayne Sussman, an elections analyst with Daily Maverick, said Khoza’s political future looks grim. “When the new political parties are formed they attract a number of leaders who had been disgruntled from their political parties. Dr Khoza falls into this category, who on the one hand was perceived to be doing good work in the ANC, in the portfolio committee in which she served. On the other hand, she burnt bridges with many of her political colleagues. I always say in life it takes two to tango. I am not surprised that it didn’t end well with ActionSA. The lesson is that Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA, or any new party for that matter, must not become a refuge for leaders who had not worked well with their colleagues in their previous parties,” Sussman said.
Khoza has her PhD in Administration, a Master’s Degree in Social Science (policy and development studies) and almost 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. DM