The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veteran’s Association (MKMVA) announced on Friday that it was dismayed by the alleged efforts of the Solidarity Trade Union to interdict the agreed-on implementation to promote former liberation soldiers of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), who were integrated into the South African Police Service (SAPS) at the dawn of democracy.
Carl Niehaus, the spokesperson of the MKMVA said It was totally unfair for MK and APLA soldiers not to be recognized right from the beginning when the SAPS integration process commenced.
“Sadly, and causing severe humiliation to our proud liberation fighters, they were integrated into SAPS serving only at entry level in the lowest ranks, because they came from the so-called ‘Non-Statuary Forces’. Not only were our members forced into the lowest ranks of SAPS, but they continued to be disadvantaged with regards to further promotions. Most of our members were eventually forced to resign due to the discriminatory treatment meted out against them,” explained Niehaus.
Niehaus said the MKMVA was outraged that Solidarity has taken action to prevent the long overdue and legitimate ranking review for MK and APLA members from proceeding.
“The court interdict that they brought is most unfortunate, provocative and totally flies in the face of nation building. We cannot see this step by Solidarity as anything else but counter-revolutionary. It is evident to us that they are still continuing to actually see our members as ‘terrorists’,” he said.
He further explained that the interdict that Solidarity brought not only has the potential to derail the continuing integration of the SAPS, but it also poses the risk that MK and APLA members could be exposed, putting their lives in danger if their identities are made public in-terms of the court interdict.
“It must be noted that some of our members are working in the intelligence and VIP protection services, with the confidentiality of their identities being essential for them to effectively carry out their duties, as well as for the safety of their principals. We have no doubt that Solidarity is well aware of this reality and is deliberately pursuing the court interdict in this manner in order to compromise them, and to endanger senior ANC leaders whose safety they do not care for at all,” said Niehaus.
Niehaus added that the foundation of the interdict is rooted in racism and the MKMVA would fight it tooth and nail!
“MKMVA and APLAMVA therefore condemn the actions of Solidarity with the utter contempt it deserves. This is nothing else than a racist license to abuse our members with impunity. We urge the National Police Commissioner (General Khehla Sithole) and the Minister of Police (comrade Bheki Cele) to take all the necessary legal and administrative steps to challenge these forces of darkness and ensure that the NSF Project is implemented fully without further delay,” said Niehaus.