Former African National Congress MP Dr Makhosi Khoza says plans are afoot for her to head a merger of various local political parties to contest the 2019 general elections nationally
Khoza told News24 that, in the coming weeks, she will be announcing the coming together of existing parties and disgruntled members from the ANC, DA and EFF.
The outspoken former MP has taken a step back from the public spotlight since September, after saying goodbye to what she called a “corrupt and alien” ANC.
She and her family have been the subject of multiple death threats since April for publicly calling for President Jacob Zuma to resign, as well as for her parliamentary work.
Khoza hinted in recent weeks that she has been approached by various individuals about leading a new “political front”, and this week she shed some light on the proposed plans.
“I’m not establishing a new party. We are merging existing political parties that have contested elections at local government level,”
“We want to create something that is new. We also have a number of former members of the DA, ANC and the EFF, and we are merging this thing together. It is new technically, but it’s also not new.”
Some of the civil bodies and local parties who have backed her include the Forum 4 Service Delivery, who have 26 councillors in municipalities across North West, and the United Front of Civics.
Khoza was also in Metsimaholo in the Free State last weekend, where she was expected to endorse the civic organisation MCA that is contesting the upcoming elections in the area.
‘There is a space between the ANC and the DA’
Other individuals include unhappy members of the National Freedom Party and Agang SA, who felt alienated by their parties’ decisions in recent years to align with the ANC and DA respectively.
Many of the individuals have experience at local and provincial level, and would not be new to governance, she claimed.
“All of them are realising we need to change the political landscape in South Africa.
“And in South Africa at the moment, there is a space that exists in between the ANC and the DA.”
She said “small increases” in the DA and EFF’s support in the 2016 local elections was evidence that voters were ultimately dissatisfied with the ANC, and were looking for an alternative.
Khoza believes the major issue with South African party politics currently was that it was “ideologically driven”, as opposed to issue driven.
Preliminary canvassing revealed that unemployed citizens, for instance, yearn more for job opportunities than sloganeering, such as “receiving the land”.
“We can’t, as a party, come up with an ideology to ‘nationalise banks’, for instance. We are going to be driven more by what citizens want.”
She did not want to reveal the names of other individuals who have registered an interest in joining.
She did promise though that “familiar faces” will be in the fold, while others “first want to see what happens with the ANC’s elective conference”.
“We are trying to create a new political home in South Africa that is truly non-racial. We believe the ANC is on a downward curve and they are no longer a leader of society.”
A group of 80 delegates will meet on December 1 and 2 to have its founding congress, and to establish new structures built around three non-negotiable principles of unity, moral leadership, and an “issue-focused” organisation.
They will unveil the party’s name once formally registered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa.
Khoza and her daughter were the subject of various death threats for the majority of her tenure as an ANC MP this year. She also faced a disciplinary inquiry for openly criticising President Jacob Zuma.
She joked she was admittedly more “stress free” since leaving the party in September.
“I am absolutely fabulous. You must see me now, I think I look gorgeous, if you will excuse me,” she laughed.
“I am out of that stressful environment, and I think I am in the best space and I’m really happy.”
She revealed that her family still receives the odd threatening SMS from time to time, and still uses private protection, but it’s “no longer as bad as before”.
“I think these people are more focused on other victims in the ANC. I don’t think I am that much of a factor anymore.
“It’s no longer as intense as it once was where I almost lost my sanity,” she said, relieved