In the beginning of a political relationship it’s all hearts and roses: “You hang up – no, you hang up!” (Remember that infamous kiss between Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele?) But, as even a cursory listen to most music genres will remind you, love doesn’t always last.
Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA, a newbie on the scene, is already experiencing the pain of separation thanks to serial political heartbreaker Makhosi Khoza. The party released a detailed statement on Tuesday saying it was ending Khoza’s membership after she was involved in a series of public spats with Mashaba. She’s accused of plotting against the party’s leadership, colluding with the ANC and bringing ActionSA into disrepute. “Her loyalties do not lie with ActionSA and instead lie with aspiring to grow her own political aspirations, at the great cost of her constituency and ActionSA.” read the statement. Ouch.
Khoza was once considered a figure of great integrity. A former senior ANC Member of Parliament, she faced death threats as one of the few party leaders to call out former President Jacob Zuma at the height of the state capture years.
After quitting the ANC in 2017 she formed African Democratic Change…before being suspended for bringing the party into disrepute (seems to be her thing) following internal disputes with party members. She later resigned from the party and politics as a whole. But the single life can be lonely, so last year she joined ActionSA ahead of the local government elections as its mayoral candidate for eThekwini, also landing other high profile roles in the party.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga told News24 this was ActionSA’s first taste of the ego battles that haunt new parties once they enjoy some success. And it should serve as a warning to the party to be more careful, he said: “Questions should be asked why ActionSA would have courted her without scrutinising her.” He’s right: you can’t just match on political Tinder and hope for the best. You have to Google your crush, too.
This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 24 March 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.