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Makhosi Khoza disciplinary hearing ‘reluctantly’ postponed

DURBAN, September 10 – The disciplinary hearing of outspoken African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza has been postponed to next Sunday, according to ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli.
 
Speaking to the media outside the ANC KwaZulu-Natal headquarters in Durban on Sunday afternoon, Ntuli said the case had been postponed because 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.
“Her representative, comrade Smanga, told the provincial disciplinary committee that he was only appointed yesterday [Saturday] around 7pm,” Ntuli told journalists.
 
Ntuli said this was a contradiction to former correspondence between the ANC and Khoza, in which she had told the party she was in consultation with legal representatives as early as July 26 or 27. “But Smanga was only instructed yesterday,” said Ntuli.
 
“Smanga pleaded for an extension and appealed for more time, which we believe for his own sake was logical. The disciplinary committee reluctantly acceded to the request and the matter will take place on Sunday, 9am at the same venue.”
 
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.
Sithini had told the committee that Khoza was not in the province and when she met him on Saturday night she said new threats had surfaced. “As a result of this she said she would not be able to make it to the hearing,” said Ntuli. 
 
He hoped Khoza would take up the committee’s offer to attend a pre-trial conference during the week. The pre-trial was an opportunity to exchange documents and find consensus on certain issues before Sunday, he said. 
 
“The ANC is disappointed that after almost two months, having been informed about the hearing and the date, she still came through her representative today and he was unprepared so the case could not proceed.”
 
Responding to questions about Khoza’s latest Facebook post on Sunday morning that she would probably be fired, Ntuli said: “Everybody must know that she has not been fired. She has been afforded another opportunity to come back next week Sunday. In addition to that she has been given an opportunity between now and Sunday to come down and meet with the ANC presenters in the pre-trial.”
 
He said the provincial disciplinary committee had been “very fair” with Khoza and had acted in line with the party’s constitution. The measures of the committee were not punitive and had been designed to ensure that they restore the discipline of the ANC and that those who transgressed were brought into line using the constitution instead of “emotions”.
 
Ntuli said it was not usual practice for the party to brief the media when a disciplinary process was taking place, but it had decided to do so in Khoza’s case because of her “appetite for distortion” in the media.

Outspoken African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza has pledged to accept the outcome of her disciplinary hearing in Durban regardless of the decision made.
Khoza failed to arrive for her disciplinary hearing which was set to start at 9am on Sunday morning. Instead, her attorney Smanga Sithini arrived at the ANC provincial headquarters in Durban, the venue for the hearing, 45 minutes after proceedings were due to start. Sithini refused to speak to media and instead rushed into the building, acknowledging he was late.
 
Khoza told the African News Agency (ANA) on Saturday evening via SMS that she would not make the hearing. “I’m having difficulty with being there at 9am. My attorney will be there. I could not get flights to get me there at 9am,” she said.
 
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 account.
 
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 who were posting encouraging messages on her Facebook page on Saturday.
On Sunday, she posted on her page that “by the end of today I may possibly be stripped of my black, green, and gold brand. I do not mind. I joined the ANC because of the love I have for my country and its people”. 
“If we disagree on this fundamental point of convergence I have no business to be in that organisation because that which has bound us for 35 years has been broken. I shall never trade truth with a job, position, brand, or anything. Whatever outcome I’ll accept with both hands and be free to exercise my constitutional right to moral conscience. Yes! I will rise. I’m ahead,” she wrote in her Facebook post.
“The most rare valuable asset I treasure is my moral reflective capacity of distinguishing between wrong and right. None can take this away from me. As James Allen puts it, ‘as the man thinkest in his heart, so is he’. I am more determined than yesterday. I cannot be silenced. My people have been suffering for centuries. They continue suffering because good men and women keep quiet and tolerate mediocrity. I refuse and am ready to pay whatever price.
“President Zuma announced that South Africa prioritises mathematics and science in memory of OR Tambo. At least in this one, I agree with you Mr President. The only difference between you and I on this point, is that I am not a typical politician because I’m not a fan of slogans nor do I find comfort in lies and deceit. I am a practical woman whose main purpose in this life is to restore the dignity of black Africans, aBantu specifically and unite all the people of God on the same baseline, so we may all have equal chances of success in life.
“It is very dangerous to be a member of the ANC today if you do not protect corruption. Those who fight corruption are persecuted. Why was comrade Senzo Mchunu removed as a premier [of KwaZulu-Natal]? He could not tolerate corruption. Why is Makhosi Khoza persecuted? She hates corruption,” Khoza wrote.
On Friday, Khoza told ANA that she feared being “gunned down” on her way to the disciplinary hearing. Khoza has said publicly that she has received numerous death threats because of her statements and the life of her daughter has also been threatened.
 
KwaZulu-Natal has seen so many politically linked killings in the past few years that premier Willies Mchunu established the Moerane Commission of Inquiry in 2016 to probe the violence. The commission has heard testimony from numerous witnesses that the killings are linked to a desire for political positions and greed.
 
ANC KwaZulu-Natal disciplinary committee chairwoman Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu told journalists that the hearing would continue whether Khoza was present or not. She said Khoza had a right to bring a representative to the proceedings but that person had to be an ANC member. “If you are not an ANC member you can’t represent. The representative will state [Khoza’s] case and let us know how she pleads,” she said.

Outspoken African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza had failed to arrive for her disciplinary hearing by 11am on Sunday, while proceedings were set to start at 9am.

Instead, Khoza’s attorney Smanga Sithini arrived at the ANC provincial headquarters in Durban, the venue for the hearing, 45 minutes after proceedings were set to start. Sithini refused to speak to media and instead rushed into the building, acknowledging he was late.

Three police vehicles were parked outside the ANC headquarters and two street lanes were cordoned off with cones, but besides a strong media contingent there were no demonstrators.

Khoza told the African News Agency (ANA) on Saturday evening via SMS that she would not make the hearing. “I’m having difficulty with being there at 9am. My attorney will be there. I could not get flights to get me there at 9am,” she said.

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 account.

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 who were posting encouraging messages on her Facebook page on Saturday.

On Friday, Khoza told ANA that she feared being “gunned down” on her way to the disciplinary hearing. Khoza has said publicly that she has received numerous death threats because of her statements and the life of her daughter has also been threatened.

KwaZulu-Natal has seen so many politically linked killings in the past few years that premier Willies Mchunu established the Moerane Commission of Inquiry in 2016 to probe the violence. The commission has heard testimony from numerous witnesses that the killings are linked to a desire for political positions and greed.

Speaking to ANA outside the headquarters on Sunday, ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said Khoza’s statement that she had been told to attend Sunday’s disciplinary at 3pm was “not accurate”.

“The 3pm related to the pre-trial [on Saturday]. She did not honour that but it is not illegal. The time for the hearing has always been 9am,” said Ntuli. He said Khoza was aware that the time was 9am and as far as he was aware she was making arrangements to attend.

Provincial disciplinary committee chairwoman Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu told journalists that the hearing would continue whether Khoza was present or not. She said Khoza had a right to bring a representative to the proceedings but that person had to be an ANC member. “If you are not an ANC member you can’t represent. The representative will state [Khoza’s] case and let us know how she pleads,” she said.

Simelane-Zulu said Khoza’s request to have the time changed and the venue moved out of KwaZulu-Natal for safety reasons had not gone via the disciplinary committee but through provincial secretary Super Zuma and national secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Mantashe told ANA on Sunday he turned down Khoza’s request for the hearing to be moved from KwaZulu-Natal because he did not want to “feed into the drama”. “The ANC head office is a safe place. We did not need to move it to feed into the drama surrounding this case,” he said.

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