Khoza took a swipe at the ruling party and criticised it for lack of accountability, corruption, unemployment, inequality and poverty.
The Sam Nzima Memorial Lecture was held at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Mbombela campus in Mpumalanga.
Khoza said during one of his chats with the legendary Nzima, who died in 2018 aged 83, he realised that democracy will never be a destination of comfort and repose.
Nzima took the iconic photograph of a dying Hector Pieterson during an uprising in Soweto on June 16 1976.
“I realised that it was a journey of ongoing reflection and struggles where the country was concerned among other things of poverty, dealing with stubborn unemployment and enduring structural social economic inequalities.
“None amongst us doubts that for democracy to thrive our nation’s conscience must be roused; its pseudo propriety given occasional shock treatment and its hypocrisy exposed.”