African National Congress MP Makhosi Khoza says one of the biggest mistakes South Africa has made is leaving politics up to people who do not understand economics.

Khoza was speaking to journalist, in which she discussed issues around speaking out against President Jacob Zuma, the death threats levelled against her, her refusal of police protection and the state of the economy.

Khoza, who has a master’s degree in policy development with a focus on South African economics, said her academic background and her understanding of macroeconomic policies makes her “very edgy” about the “reckless way” the country is dealing with issues that “negatively impact investment”.

“One of the major mistakes we made in this country was to leave politics to people who may not necessarily understand how the economy works and people who do not understand why moral and ethical issues are very important in politics,” Khoza said.

“We are undoing the gains we made during the struggle.”

Khoza said she is “truly unhappy” the country has had a two-digit growth path for as long as she can remember.

“To me, it is important that, as politicians, we don’t take decisions that are reckless. When the attack on national treasury happened, it was unprecedented that you can remove the minister and deputy at the same time because that affects the fiscal policy… Investors look at economic stability and fiscal policies. Markets don’t like things that are erratic, they tend to prefer a steady and stable environment,” she said.

“If you remove two people at the same time and have the director general who has been there for over 20 years leaving the institution, it leaves you very vulnerable. It’s worse when you are also bringing in people with questionable moral and ethical integrity in that space, it effects the entire sector.”

Khoza said the “attack” on treasury is an attack on the economy.

“All these things are happening within a very short space of time. For me, it constitutes an attack on the economy. But mostly it constitutes a disregard for the most disadvantaged people of our community.”