JOHANNESBURG- The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has on sunday rejected what they labeled as ‘opportunistic media statement’ that the so-called ‘MK National Council’ issued about the march to Luthuli House on Monday the 1st of July.
According to the MKMVA, The MKMVA National Office Bearers (NOB’s) was officially informed by the Gauteng Provincial Executive Council (PEC) about the MKMVA Gauteng Province planned march to the ANC Head Quarters, Luthuli House. The movement further added that the National Leadership of MKMVA has no objection to this peaceful planned march, and in fact wholeheartedly supports its objectives.
“The National Leadership of MKMVA can also confirm that the Office of the Secretary General was on the 28th of June 2019 informed by formal letter from the Gauteng MKMVA Provincial Secretary (PS), comrade Solly Matebesi, of this planned peaceful MKMVA Gauteng provincial march, with the intention to hand over a Memorandum calling for the implementation of the Resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the ANC, specifically referring to all the ANC Resolutions regarding MKMVA, and the overall plight of ex-MK combatants.”
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of MKMVA has been hard at work since our
election at our 5th National Conference to address the serious socio-economic
deprivations and challenges that many ex-MK combatants have to contend with on a daily basis. Our numerous media statements, the minutes of our NEC meetings, as well as our overall daily work testify to our unwavering commitment to address these issues, and to serve our members through making sure that they can indeed access, and benefit from the
rights and privileges that they as ex-combatants and military veterans are entitled to,” the MKMVA said in a statement.
“A central component of these efforts continues to be our ongoing engagements with the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) about administrative problems that hampers the delivery of services to our members. We are of the opinion that we are registering good progress, but as a responsible Association we are not at liberty to make our engagements with the Acting Director-General Lt. General (RTD) D. M. Mgwebi, and his senior managerial staff, public. Suffice to say that we have, however, been hampered in our efforts by the existence and conduct of this informal grouping called the ‘MK National Council’, with no legal standing whatsoever, but who constantly go out of their way to undermine our efforts, and try to undermine our legitimate position as the only legitimate and legal Association representing MK-veterans.
Unfortunately confusion (sometimes deliberately stoked on by some senior ANC politicians) within the Department of Military Veterans (DMV), about whether the ‘MK National Council’ should be granted some misguided legitimacy, caused unnecessary delays in our critical engagements with DMV in order to address the legitimate needs and demands of our members.”
Furthermore, the MKMVA said that does not believe that the ‘MK National Council’ had been formed in order to address the socio-economic plight of ex-MK combatants, as they so self-servingly try to
claim. “If this was indeed the case the members of ‘MK National Council’ would have cooperated with MKMVA, as the only legitimate Association of ex-MK combatants, in order to address their plight. Instead the ‘MK National Council’ owes it’s illegitimate existence solely to a divisive and factionalist political agenda. It is an illegitimate parallel grouping with absolutely no legal standing, nor any ANC constitutional recognition or provision, whatsoever. At best they are only an informal grouping off disaffected bitter self-promoting individuals.”
“With this background in mind we take strong umbrage to the ‘MK National Council’ trying to lecture MKMVA about freedom of expression and freedom of association. It is the democratic and constitutionally enshrined right of our members to peacefully demonstrate and express their views, including to peacefully march to the ANC Head Office, Luthuli
House, where our MKMVA National Office is housed on the 7th floor.”
According to the MKMVA, It is disingenuous, and a deliberately contrived blatant lie, to say that the march of MKMVA Gauteng Province is a demonstration/march against themselves.
“Obviously the march is in support of the efforts of the MKMVA NEC, as well as the efforts of our Mother-body the African National Congress, to implement the Resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the ANC, with specific reference you the Resolution that unity must be brought in the ranks of ex-MK combatants.”
“Being aware of all of this our MKMVA members in Gauteng have therefore resolved on this peaceful march in order to support and strengthen our efforts. We are indeed very grateful for their critically needed support.
The movement further added that anyone who has the most basic understanding of
democracy will understand that demonstrable grass-roots constituency mass support is critical for leaders to succeed.
“Leaders are only as strong as the demonstrable support that they receive from the members of their organization, this is why in politics constituency support is all-important. It is regrettable that we have to try and teach those who are involved in the ‘MK National Council’ ‘Politics 101’, but then again it is actually not so surprising, taking into consideration their politically delinquent conduct”, said the MKMVA.
“Suffice to say that this march, and the support that the Gauteng MKKVA is providing through this peaceful march, to Luthuli House to both us as the MKMVA NEC, and the ANC NEC, is critical for the eventual successful implementation of the 54th National Conference Resolutions regarding ex-MK combatants and MKMVA.
It is our considered view that ‘MK National Council’s’ refusal to support this democratically legitimate and critical march is rooted in their fear that they will be shown up as an illegitimate factional
parallel grouping, without any real constituency.”
Furthermore, the MKMVA said it has noted the carefully formulated and balanced view that the Secretary General of the ANC, comrade Ace Magashule, articulated in an extensive video recorded interview on News24, stating that the implementation of the Resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the ANC is not a once-off event, but an ongoing process.
“Understanding this we are encouraged by the SG’s strongly principled position that this process must be clear and deliberate in it’s commitment to eventually fully implement all the Resolutions of the 54th National Conference. MKMVA therefore dedicate ourselves to work with the ANC NEC, and the Office of the Secretary General – as the administrative engine room of the ANC – in order to eventually bring unity in the ranks of all MK veterans
under the auspices of MKMVA.
In order to achieve this objective we need the full mass-support of our members, and we encourage them to continue execute their constitutional and democratic right to march and demonstrate in order to support and strengthen our efforts, until we succeed.”
“We further call on all MK veterans to join the MKMVA Gauteng Province peaceful
march tomorrow to Luthuli House. This is a clarion call to all MKMVA veterans in Gauteng, also those who may in one way or another misguidedly be associated with the ‘MK National Council’, to support the march and to contribute their collective efforts in a politically mature manner for the sake of our unity, and the well-being of all MK-veterans who sacrificed everything for the sake of the liberation of our country.”
“Lastly, MKMVA has noted that there is a ‘MK National Council’ poster making the rounds, calling for a so-called ‘Defence of Luthuli House’. Typically for the already established conduct of the ‘MK National Council’, this is a malicious and misguided effort to try and stoke on division, strife and even possibly violence.”
In conclusion, the movement said that there was absolutely no need to ‘defend’ Luthuli House, because the MKMVA Gauteng provincial will be a peaceful march, and is actually in support of those of us inside Luthuli House.
“We, therefore, call on all our members to not allow themselves to be provoked, and
to ensure that our peaceful march will under all circumstances remain peaceful and dignified – worthy of politically mature liberation soldiers. We furthermore call on the South African Police not to hesitate to act against any ‘MK National Council’ agent provocateurs who may want to stoke on violence.”