Makhosi Khoza is set to lose her council seat as well as her position as municipal public accounts committee chair after her expulsion from Action SA, the party’s national chairperson, Michael Beaumont, confirmed.
Beaumont said a letter had already been sent to eThekwini council speaker Thabani Nyawose to alert him of the vacancy. He added that the party’s provincial executive committee had been urged to immediately look into replacing Khoza in its public representative council list submitted to the Electoral Commission of South Africa.
“It’s clear in the legislation that you need to be a member of a party,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Khoza took to social media, claiming to not have received any communication from the party’s senate about her dismissal.
“I don’t have a comment at this stage, as I have not yet received the outcome of a disciplinary hearing. The statement issued is full of misrepresentations of the deliberations of the Action SA’s ethics and disciplinary committee. I never joined Action SA on a media platform. It stands to reason that my termination of membership cannot happen on same,” she posted on Facebook.
The national chair denied this, saying he had written to Khoza on Monday evening, with minutes of the senate meeting. Beaumont added that the party intended for her to be removed from the council “very rapidly”.
“There is an upcoming council meeting for which the voices against the ANC need to be represented,” he said.
Action SA held a senate meeting on Monday evening at which its ethics and the disciplinary committee unanimously found Khoza guilty on charges of bringing the party into disrepute, deliberately acting in a way that negatively affects the party and acting in a manner that causes disunity in the party. The charge sheet also accused Khoza of making public utterances and comments that were deemed to have been made with the intention of bringing Action SA into disrepute.
The report said there was no reasonable explanation for Khoza’s continued abuse of the party she purported to promote, adding that her loyalties did not lie with Action SA, but instead with growing her own political aspirations, at a great cost to her constituency and Action SA.
Khoza also stood accused of acting to destabilise the party, having allegedly led a group of disgruntled former party members in Soweto who were plotting to “deal with” Herman Mashaba.
“This conversation took place in close proximity to a protest by these former members outside the City of Johannesburg council chamber in which they [could] be heard chanting Khoza’s name,” Beaumont alleged.
In the damning report by the ethics committee, Khoza was also accused of being prone to conspiracy theories, aggressive behaviour and continuing with threats to damage the party’s reputation further.
“Action SA is pleased that its internal institutions have proven effective in addressing this matter in a manner that is fair and decisive. As a party, we cannot guarantee the conduct of our members; this lies with their ethics and values. What we can assure all South Africans, is that unacceptable conduct will be identified and addressed both fairly and decisively,” the committee said.
This is the third party Khoza has left in five years. She was hailed a hero when she left the ANC in 2017 after she spoke out against former president Jacob Zuma’s leadership. Khoza, who had been a member of parliament on the ANC’s benches, was one of the few comrades who dared to speak out against the Zuma administration.
She later formed her own party, African Democratic Change, but it collapsed months later, with her deputy claiming that Khoza had been suspended. She also had a short stint at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) as an executive director and head of its local government programme.
After a three-year hiatus, Khoza was announced as a member of Action SA, who would lead its establishment in KwaZulu-Natal.
Her relationship with her political head Mashaba started to show cracks during coalition talks shortly after local government elections last November. Khoza defied Mashaba and the party’s senate in eThekwini council by choosing to entertain a coalition with the ANC.
She was then forced to resign from her position as provincial chair, a decision she claimed at the time was made to direct her energy towards fighting corruption in eThekwini metro.
Democratic Alliance eThekwini caucus leader Nicole Graham also accused Khoza of voting for the ANC in exchange for being elected as the municipal public accounts committee chair.