JOHANNESBURG, AFRICAN NATIONAL cONGRESS (ANC) Member of Parliament Makhosi Khoza has been removed from her position as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Service and Administration with immediate effect.

The ANC caucus in Parliament says the decision to remove Khoza came from the party’s headquarters because of what the party describes as an “irretrievable breakdown of relations” between Makhosi and the other ANC members of the committee.

On Tuesday, five MPs from the ruling ANC serving in the committee boycotted the committee saying they do not recognize her because of her stance in voting in favour of a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Aug 8.

Makhosi, who also faces an internal party disciplinary hearing, has been a defiant critic of President Zuma.

In a carefully worded statement Thursday, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said the decision to relieve Khoza of her position as chair of the parliamentary committee was the last resort as the party attempted on numerous occasions to reign her in, to no avail.

Mthembu said Khoza remained an ANC Member of Parliament pending the outcomes of the disciplinary action being taken against her by the party. He added that the decision had since been communicated to Khoza.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe also confirmed that the party had removed Khoza from chairing the committee. He cited an irretrievable breakdown in relations between Khoza and ANC members of the committee.

Khoza says she has been receiving death threats.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it was surprised that the ANC had removed Khoza from chairing the committee. “It did come somewhat as a surprise because it’s very clear that what’s happened here is the internal infighting that’s going on and the factional battles within the ANC has now spilled over,” a party official said.

“The internal battles should not be ‘affecting’ the people’s business in Parliament and there is no reason why Dr Khoza should be removed from her position as chairperson of the committee. She has done nothing wrong by the rules of Parliament or the mandate given to her by the committee members.”