Paul Mashatile. Picture: SUPPLIED
Paul Mashatile. Picture: SUPPLIED

Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile says the party has suffered a huge blow with outspoken MP Makhosi Khoza announcing her resignation as an ANC member on Thursday.

Khoza‚ a strong critic of President Jacob Zuma‚ has had a rocky relationship with the party after speaking out against corruption and also publicly announcing that she would support the no-confidence motion against Zuma held in a secret ballot held in Parliament on August 8.

"Any one person leaving the organisation is a great loss to us and I’m sure as we change the way we do things in the ANC, we would wish that some of them would come back," said Mashatile. "We are busy doing that and you know we have a conference coming where there will be new programmes [and] there will be change of leadership."

Mashatile was speaking on the sidelines of the Human Settlement Developments Summit in Boksburg‚ east of Johannesburg‚ on Thursday‚ which he attended in his capacity as the MEC for Human Settlements in Gauteng.

"The ANC is an organisation that all of us join voluntarily so if anybody wishes to leave‚ there’s nothing that we can do. But I don’t think it’s correct [for her] to say the ANC is a corrupt organisation," said Mashatile. "We may have challenges with certain individuals but the ANC, in fact, has been at the forefront of fighting corruption. There are good men and women in the ANC and I think they’ll be able to continue to strive to ensure that the ANC deals with these challenges."

However, in a statement titled "Good riddance to bad rubbish", the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal said it believes Khoza will join "her masters" [the DA] after leaving the party. "We are not at all surprised by this decision; Makhosi Khoza defined herself outside the ANC a very long time ago. Her actions have long been that of a person on a path of distraction," the league said.

It has called on the ANC to replace Khoza with "a young, capable leader who will bring fresh blood into the ANC parliamentary caucus".

Also responding to Khoza’s resignation‚ the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said Khoza was unwilling to "repent". "She has confirmed our view that she is not interested in the ANC‚" said the party’s provincial spokesperson, Mdumiseni Ntuli. "We knew that there is no genuine person who can be driven by so much anger‚ hatred to undermine the ANC and remain in the ANC."

Khoza announced she was quitting the ANC after a breakdown in the relationship between her and the party leadership. She faced two counts of ill-discipline in July for statements she made in four Facebook posts — on July 7, July 20 (two posts) and July 21; as well as remarks she made at the Conference for the Future of SA in Johannesburg‚ which was organised by Save SA. She failed to arrive for disciplinary proceedings at the party’s provincial offices in Durban on two consecutive occasions.

In a lengthy Facebook post‚ Khoza said she was unbothered about the outcome of the hearing. She has also, in the past, argued that the party’s constitution provides that disciplinary proceedings may not be used as a means of stifling debate or denying members their basic democratic rights.

Mashatile said the ANC would emerge as a united front from the upcoming elective conference in December and would consist of dedicated leaders who would fight against state capture‚ corruption, and would seek to re-gain the confidence of many South Africans.

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