21/09/2017 15:46 SAST | Updated 21/09/2017 16:03 SAST

Makhosi Khoza: 'My Late Husband Who Left Me A Widow At 28 Would Want Me To Stand Up For What's Right'

Bulky bodyguards kept a constant eye on former ANC MP.

Makhosi Khoza.
Mark Davies / HuffPost SA
Makhosi Khoza.

Former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza didn't wait for media to arrive for her big announcement on Thursday morning that she would be leaving the ANC. Starting at exactly 10.30am, when only a handful of people were present, she said: "There is one thing I never compromise, and that's time" -- a leadership lesson she learnt from former president Nelson Mandela, she said.

Khoza arrived at the historic Lilliesleaf Museum -- where 19 freedom fighters were once captured by apartheid security police -- surrounded by a team of bodyguards. Inside the venue, even more bodyguards were present -- HuffPost SA counted at least seven. HuffPost SA enquired whether this was owing to the threats on her life, which Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has controversially linked to a 17-year old girl, but Makhoza didn't provide further information about her personal security.

Read: Analysis: Makhosi Khoza Can Occupy The Space Between The ANC And The DA

Khoza said in her speech that the venue was chosen specifically to highlight the former glory of the ANC -- an ANC she says no longer exists. During her speech, she repeatedly mentioned many of the ANC's founding members who sought refuge there, and who, she said, would be disappointed by the state of the party today. She repeatedly called the party an "alien" organisation.

Quotes by the stalwarts surrounded Khoza as she spoke, for over an hour, about an ANC that "demolishes a century-long legacy and strangles the moral conscience that was once held so dear".

Members of Khoza's family were also in the audience for her historic announcement, some of whom stood up to support her as she broke down speaking about her late husband.

"I know my late husband, Ntela Sikhosana‚ who left me on this earth with young children at the age of 28‚ would want me to stand up. We both knew that to unshackle our people‚ especially from the very comrades we fought side by side with‚ require men and women of honour and integrity." she said.