Makhosi Khoza. File photo: SUNDAY TIMES
Makhosi Khoza. File photo: SUNDAY TIMES

Former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza says South African voters have to wake up from the liberation blues if change is to happen in the country’s politics.

In an interview with TimesLIVE on Mandela Day‚ Khoza said the ANC used a collective decision-making system and‚ therefore‚ it was difficult to expect an individual to change the entire organisation.

"You have to replace [the organisation]‚ unfortunately. But I’m not sure if the citizens of SA are ready for that. I think we are still having the liberation struggle blues. The sooner we get over the liberation struggle blues [the better]‚" she said.

"I remained in the ANC despite seeing that things were going wrong. Things were failing but I kept on feeling that somehow it is going to self-correct. Eventually‚ I realised that I am caught up in these liberation struggle blues. The minute I started getting myself out of that … I asked what the hell am I still doing there? "I don’t think SA has started those brutal engagements." In September 2017‚ Khoza resigned from the ANC after a tumultuous time in Parliament‚ where she openly criticised then president Jacob Zuma. Khoza started her own political party called African Democratic Change‚ which was a dismal failure.

In April‚ she retired from politics and joined the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse‚ where she is the executive director of the local government division. She said trends in Africa showed that things may have to get worse in SA before they got better.

"Unfortunately‚ we don’t learn. That is the disappointment I have in our own continent. We have had one state after another failing. … Once people realise that [the Cyril Ramaphosa euphoria] it is not bringing desired effects‚ maybe they will try another person‚ and another one‚ until the system collapses and‚ maybe‚ we will have a chance‚" Khoza said.

"But I wish that we don’t get to that point because it is very difficult to recover…." She said local government in SA had to be less political for it to be effective. In the current system‚ ward candidates mostly run on a party ticket to become councillors. This alone made councillors more accountable to their political parties than the people they actually represented‚ Khoza said.

"[To] to ensure that municipalities are run properly‚ mayors must be elected directly by people. If the mayor is actually elected directly by local citizens, there will be more accountability‚" she said.

"Currently‚ even if you shout until you are blue in the face‚ [asking] the ANC or DA to remove this mayor‚ … they will take that mayor‚ send him to the provincial government and even give him the position of MEC. I am not inventing this‚ it happens."

Khoza said that in a normal democracy‚ when a political party did something wrong‚ it faced consequences from the electorate. She urged South Africans to use their power to compel politicians to account for their actions.