Ms Makoti Sibongile Khawula (EFF)

Aug. 8, 2016 (2 years, 11 months ago)

M-Khawula

What is your political background? I was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) during 1980s and I was actively involved in the fight for freedom. I joined undercover politics during the heightened period of turmoil in Durban in areas like KwaMashu and Inanda. I attended political meetings during the night as this was an appropriate time to discuss a way forward in the fight against the evil apartheid system. I always thank God for how I survived during those times as most did not manage to survive. I was the first one in KwaMashu to come out and became a fully fledged organiser of the ANC in 1990. I only joined the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) after it was established in 2013. I was always a fan of Mr Julius Malema and I immediately knew that I would follow him wherever he goes after he was expelled from the ANC in 2012. It is hard for me to me to resist the need to join political activities in my area.

What does your job as an MP entail? My responsibility as a Member of Parliament is to ensure that everyone in my constituency can be assisted. I always visit people in my constituency so as to see their living conditions and address those in Parliament. I joined politics with the intention of primarily serving the interests of the people and not ourselves. It is painful to see that it is mostly black people who are adversely impacted by abject poverty and still finding it hard to get employment. My responsibility as an MP is to change the conditions of black people.

What is your impression of the Fifth Parliament so far? The ruling party is not accommodative to the needs of the people and has been in defence of President Zuma despite him being found to have breached the oath of office. There is no freedom of speech in this Parliament and this pains me as I was involved in the fight for all forms of freedom. The EFF has also been the main victim in most cases as our MPs are sometimes beaten or ejected from the House for expressing their opinions. The beating of our MPs is repulsive and this shows that freedom in the country is yet to be attained. The biasness of the Speaker is contributing to making Parliament non-conducive to furthering the interests of the people.

Where is your constituency? What has been most interesting about constituency work so far? My constituency is in eThekwini in Umbilo Road. It is unfortunate that most of the people in my constituency are very poor and are neglected by the ruling party. Some has been the victims of evictions and bulldozing of their houses. I have raised a number of issues to various portfolio committees regarding the living conditions of the people in my constituency without any assistance. I have visited officials of Department of Water and Sanitation in order to tell them about the living conditions of people in my constituency but this has also proven to be futile. I can tell you that the ANC has failed its people. I cannot publicly say I have done anything profound in my constituency considering the limited resources at my disposal.

What are you passionate about? This applies in both in a political/professional and personal arena? I am passionate about politics and the development of people. The policies of the EFF are centred on helping people, because it is an organisation that is aimed at helping poor people in South Africa. I am disappointed that the country has the highest number of people who are unemployed. I am passionate about the way the EFF is fighting against the brutal labour broking system. I could say that the current government is better than the previous government but the apartheid government did not have the labour broking system and people who are volunteering without any form of income.

What would your message to South Africans be? I want to say to South Africans they must look at political parties that will represent their interests. The EFF is the only party that is centred on serving the interests of black people. I always make sure that I am available 24 hours to serve the interests of people in my constituency and I do not want to be given VIP treatment by people in my constituency. I am a person who is all about putting people first and we should not forget about those who have put us in Parliament through their votes.

[This interview was translated from isiZulu]

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