‘We will not disband’ – MKMVA

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By: The Pretoria News

JOHANNESBURG- The meeting held today between the National Office Bearers of the ANC, the National Office Bearers of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and MK National Council collapsed.

MKMVA expressed its distress by the manner in which the Chairperson of the ANC, comrade Gwede Mantashe, conducted the meeting.

“After opening remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the effect that a decision was taken to disband MKMVA, and the parallel structure called MK National Council, the National Office Bearers of MKMVA requested for an explanation about why such a radical deviation from the MK unitary process is being imposed,” said the MKMVA.

“Our President, comrade Kebby Maphatsoe, and Deputy President, comrade Taylor Nisimbini, requested for explanations about these drastic steps in line with the letter that the President of MKMVA wrote on Sunday the 6th of June 2021 to the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, comrade Jessie Duarte, requesting for proper explanations to be provided. While they were still expressing their concerns, and insisting that reasons should be provided, the Chairperson abruptly ended the virtual Zoom meeting. Other members of the MKMVA National Office Bearers were not even provided with an opportunity to speak.”

The MKMVA further added:  “As an official constitutional and legal structure feels fundamentally disrespected. This engagement was alien to the democratic culture of the African National Congress, which has always been to debate, and to respect divergent views. MKMVA was being dictated to in an entirely un-ANC manner.

“We will not be disrespected, nor will we bow to a dictatorship. The members of MKMVA, and MKMVA as a legitimate constitutional entity, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Our members have dedicated their lives to the ANC, and to the liberation struggle.

“The decision of the ANC NWC and National Office Bearers to disband MKMVA has no legal, nor political, legitimacy. MKMVA has diligently tried to implement the decision for a MK-unitary process to be embarked on, as was resolved by the 54th National Conference of the ANC. We did so under the auspices of the Peace and Stability Sub-committee of the ANC, as chaired by comrade Tony Yengeni. It was the MK National Council that unilaterally, and abruptly, withdrew from that process,” said the MKMVA.

However, the MKMVA said the meeting today with the National Office Bearers of the ANC had a fundamental factional character, favouring MK National Council.

“The ill-discipline and factionalism of the MK National Council is rewarded, while our disciplined conduct is disregarded, and we are in fact punished. All this is done without any preparedness by the ANC National Office Bearers to be accountable, and refusing to give us reasons, nor providing us with an adequate opportunity to raise our concerns and objections.

“MKMVA does not recognise the Preparatory Committee that the ANC NWC, and National Office Bearers, have unilaterally imposed to prepare for a unitary conference. We therefore appreciate the principled decision of retired General Shoke and retired General Ngwenya, who have refused to participate in this committee.”

In conclusion the movement added: “Under the circumstances MKMVA is left with no other option but to state categorically that we will not disband. MKMVA will continue with our programmes and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of MKMVA will continue to carry out our mandate, and serve out the term that we have been elected to at our 5th National Conference in 2017 at the Birchwood Conference Centre.”