African NAtional Congress (ANC) MP Makhosi Khoza on Thursday evening said it’s time for the country to move past the ruling party, barely an hour after she was removed as chairperson of the portfolio committee on public administration.
"What we need in this country right now is to say thank you ANC for what you did, but you were not alone fighting in the struggle… We no longer need the ANC if it does what the apartheid government was doing," Khoza said.
"I think South Africa now is entering the next phase of its struggle. The next phase is implementing the Constitution of South Africa. We have to defend [the Constitution]; we have to now build the country."
Khoza was speaking at the Ruth First Memorial roundtable on Dissent at Wits University.
She was joined by Democratic Alliance KZN MPL Mbali Ntuli, SABC 8 journalist Thandeka Gqubule and political analyst Raymond Suttner.
The event was broadcasted by eNCA. Khoza, a critic of President Jacob Zuma, said the ANC she joined "is no longer there".
"There are those of us who still follow the brand. [I think] we need a healing process to understand that what we now need [is] a new South Africa, a South Africa we collectively designed when we [adopted] the new Constitution.
"I believe it is possible for us to co-exist provided we speak truth to power, we embrace each other and we all [have to] build on what Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo and Ahmed Kathrada did."
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the ANC removed Khoza as chairperson on the portfolio committee on public administration following an "irretrievable breakdown of trust".
This follows five ANC MPs boycotting a meeting of the committee on Tuesday afternoon.
They claimed Khoza contravened the ANC’s disciplinary code.
Khoza is believed to be one of an estimated 35 ANC MPs who voted in favour of a motion of no confidence in Zuma on August 8.
In an interview with eNCA, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantasha said Khoza was removed because she insulted members "of the committee one by one".
"That's why we removed her from the committee and not as an MP."
Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, former tourism minister Derek Hanekom and Mondli Gungubele had also publicly stated that they would vote "with their conscience".
On Wednesday, the ANC said it plans to discipline at least three MPs who have publicly admitted that they voted in support of the motion of no confidence.