POLITICS

Makhosi Khoza Faces The Heat, Could Hanekom And Gordhan Be Next?

The ANC could well be considering actions against MPs who were vocal on their vote against the president.

18/08/2017 14:03 SAST | Updated 21/08/2017 13:39 SAST

The African National Congress have begun their onslaught against vocal members who criticised President Jacob Zuma and problems within the party.

Makhosi Khoza, who was one of several ANC MPs who said she would vote with her conscience in the secret ballot to oust Zuma, was the first to feel the heat, and others may soon to follow.

Khoza, who has called for Zuma to step down and campaigned for a vote of no confidence in him to be held via secret ballot, was on Thursday sacked as chairperson of the public service and administration portfolio committee.

The party cited an "irretrievable breakdown of trust" between her and members of the ANC in the committee. Earlier this week, ANC MPs boycotted a meeting of the committee because of Khoza's outspokenness in favour of a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

The party said their decision came after numerous failed attempts by the leadership of the organisation to "counsel" Khoza on her behaviour.

Khoza also faces charges of bringing the party into disrepute and her disciplinary hearing will be held in September.

It seems however, that more MPs will face the music.

Zuma is already calling for the estimated 26 ANC lawmakers who supported the motion of no confidence to face disciplinary hearings.

While addressing the ANC Youth League Cadres Forum in Pongola, Zuma said the party's constitution should be applied to "people who have double hearts, one for the ANC and one for other parties... They must move aside for those with a single heart."

Read: We Will Discipline Those ANC MPs Who Admitted Voting Against Zuma: Mantashe

And it is not only Zuma calling for the heads of those MPs – the president's staunch supporters are also pushing for disciplinary action to be taken.

Free State party chairperson Ace Magashule said those who voted against Zuma should resign voluntarily.

"It makes sense, when the party has given you a particular direction and you take another route, what do you expect? You want us to expel you. Why don't you voluntarily resign?" he said.

So, who could be in the firing line?
It is unclear how the ANC plans to single out its members who voted against Zuma, since the vote was held via secret ballot. But there were members who made it clear they would "vote with their conscience" ahead of the August 8.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa reportedly said that during a national working committee meeting earlier this week, the party discussed the implications of Derek Hanekom possibly facing disciplinary action, but no decisions were taken.

Hanekom serves as the chair of the party's disciplinary committee and has been vocal about issues within the ANC.

There is also the matter of Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan has arguably been one of the most vocal MPs, calling for Zuma to step down as well as spearheading conversations around the problems faced by the ANC. He has also been at the forefront of the campaign against state capture and corruption in the party.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe earlier this week said the party would not hunt down the 26 MPs, but would discipline party members who were vocal about how they would vote -- Gordhan being one of them.

Read: A Tale Of Two ANC Rebels: Makhosi Khoza And Mondli Gungubele

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party would not embark on a "witch hunt" to investigate which ANC MP's voted in support of the motion, however those who have publicly said they supported the Democratic Alliance motion will be disciplined.

"Three of them have confirmed they voted with [the] opposition we will have to deal with that situation because if we don't we will destroy [the] essence of being an organisation," Mantashe said.