Phosa came to Khoza’s defence on Thursday calling for “sober” minds‚ saying he won’t be part of an organisation that is full of “zombies” where everyone agrees.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Agri Western Cape’s annual congress in Rawsonville.

Phosa was one of the keynote speakers at the farming conference where issues on land and agriculture were discussed.

“The measure of a mature democracy is not whether we all agree like zombies. It’s whether we are able to disagree and agree. That’s a measure of a mature democracy. A democracy of zombies‚ I don’t want to belong to.

“Therefore I think the drama around Makhosi (Khoza) is uncalled for. I think sober heads must prevail there. If comrades hold a different view‚ and there’s nothing wrong with it. Many people like Pravin have said it now. Pravin and I have said that you must listen to your conscience. The day you are denied to listen to your conscience let me tell you is the beginning of original sin‚” said Phosa.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal charged Khoza for bringing the party into disrepute following her calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Khoza has also publicly stated that she would be voting with her conscience in the upcoming motion of no confidence debate on August 8. Khoza this week declined police protection after receiving death threats.

Phosa said in a democracy they should defend people’s rights to express their views even when they differ from theirs.

“And we should not say because someone differs from our views therefore they are the enemy‚ that’s number one. Number two‚ that they must be intimidated threatened and prosecuted in whatever forum whether it’s legal forum or a party forum. Those are not results we should go for. We should be consultative and try find solutions and of course live with different points of views‚” said Phosa.

On the motion of no confidence vote‚ Phosa said MPs from all parties should vote “in terms of their consciences”.

“It is noble to do so. There’s a critical moment in our history here‚ it’s not a light matter‚ it’s a matter about whether or not you have confidence in a leader of a country. At the moment let me tell you I don’t have confidence in him and I would vote with my conscience‚” said Phosa.

He said Zuma’s removal along with his cabinet would not be a disaster for the party.

“The ANC system as a party is very much organised. It’s not even a crisis at all for the ANC. I’m not even worried about that‚” said Phosa.