MKMVA once again says the ANC has no right to control it and says it will exercise its democratic right to defend Zuma.
In a statement on Tuesday, Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus in effect showed the ANC national executive committee (NEC) the middle finger.
Acting ANC secretary-general Jessie Duarte earlier reaffirmed in a press conference about Monday’s special NEC meeting that the MKMVA and MK Council would both need to be disbanded.
Duarte said on Tuesday that political developments and their implications over the past six days had not only resulted in mass protests against the Constitutional Court’s 15-month contempt of court jail sentence for former president Jacob Zuma, but also disturbing calls for violence and even civil war.
Duarte said the MKMVA’s calls for violence had been unacceptable and the situation outside Nkandla had also resulted in deliberate defiance of Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings and social distancing.
“The NEC clearly stated that the situation in KwaZulu-Natal does not represent a popular uprising, but has been engineered from within the ranks of the ANC,” she said.
As such, the ANC NEC called for the national working committee’s decision to immediately disband the MKMWA and MK Council to be implemented and the establishment of an MK Veterans Unity Conference Preparatory Committee.
Duarte said the actions of the MKMVA, especially in light of the 60-year anniversary of Umkhonto weSizwe as a liberation army, were “a shameful blight on this proud history”.
“The threat of violence aimed at undermining our democracy and its core institutions is counter-revolutionary, akin to similar displays and acts by extreme right-wing elements.”
The actions by organisers responsible for inciting violence and defying Covid-19 protocols would also be investigated, she said. This included members of the party shown burning ANC regalia and “other acts of ill-discipline”, which Duarte said had violated the ANC’s constitution and code of conduct.
In his response, however, Niehaus said the MKMVA was “dismayed” by the ANC’s response, and he again rejected the disbandment order as being against procedure and “illegal”.
He dismissed the decision as having been made “emotionally and in anger” as a reaction to the MKMVA’s support of Zuma. Niehaus described this as “unacceptable” and said the MKMVA was an autonomous structure and it would continue to exist according to its own constitution, regardless of the ANC NEC’s views.
He slammed the NEC for having not shown enough regard for the welfare of suffering MKMVA members, who had been “languishing in dire poverty”.
He once again expressed the MKMVA’s support for Zuma, who he described as his organisation’s “Patron in Chief”.
The statement went on to express support for radical economic transformation.
By Charles Cilliers
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