All eyes on Makhosi Khoza: A woman who takes it to the max

20 August 2017 - 00:57 By sue de groot

People are asking questions about Makhosi Khoza. She has sprung like a clear-eyed phoenix from the ashes of a corruption-riddled ruling party and everyone wants to know: who is this woman?
The whispering began roughly a year ago, when Khoza chaired the ad hoc committee charged with appointing a new public protector. Her fairness and fearlessness sparked a storm of attention.
More recently, her open support of the vote of no confidence in Jacob Zuma's presidency made headlines. At a Future of South Africa conference on Mandela Day, Khoza said Zuma had lost "legitimacy, credibility, integrity and honour".Fellow party members have rejected and vilified her. On Thursday she was fired as chairwoman of parliament's public service and administration portfolio committee. Next month she will face a disciplinary hearing in KwaZulu-Natal which might see her expelled from the party (she refuses to resign). She and her children have received death threats. Despite all this, she will not back down or compromise.
These are the things people are talking about. But Khoza's crusade for justice began a long time ago and her credentials are legion - an entrepreneur from the age of seven, a youth leader by the time she was 12, arrested at 14 for giving a revolutionary speech, a deputy mayor at 26, widowed with two small children at 28.
Now 46, Khoza has a master's degree in policy and development, a doctorate in administration, and is working towards a second master's in finance. Between political appointments she has been a director in the corporate sector. She has also written a linguistic textbook that teaches isiZulu via numerical equations.
Neither the published facts nor her TV appearances are adequate preparation for meeting Khoza. She practically glows with an energy that has in it something of the young Tina Turner. It is easy to imagine her belting out an anthem and laughing in delight as the audience joins in. As it turns out, Khoza loves to sing and as a child she loved to act. These skills are evident in her articulate delivery and her ability to hold listeners spellbound...

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