Former MKs launch breakaway party

2013-04-27 14:04

Expelled and former Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) members, activists and civil society organisations launched a new political party called SA First in Johannesburg today.

It would be run by expelled MK member Eddie Mokhoanatse and former member Lucky Twala.

“We are not angry with the ANC, we are not disgruntled,” Mokhoanatse said.

“When we joined the ANC, essentially we were joining the liberation struggle and the ANC as an agent of change.

“When it veers away from the core values, we don’t see any value in staying in the organisation.”

Mokhoanatse said he did not believe the ANC was motivated by a desire to help people – it had become an organisation of individuals.

Mokhoanatse joined MK and the ANC in 1976. Twala joined in 1978.

Mokhoanatse had been expelled from the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) last year for casting aspersions on the reputation of the ANC.

He was part of a group that took MKMVA leaders to court after they allegedly turned the organisation’s investment holdings into their own personal piggy bank.

Last year, the group reportedly laid criminal charges against former treasurer-general Dumisani Khoza, former chairperson Deacon Mathe, treasurer at the time Johannes Motseki, current chairman Kebby Maphatsoe and Deputy Public Service Minister and current secretary of the association, Ayanda Dlodlo, who received a R40 000 cash payout from the association in December 2008.

Maphatsoe said MKMVA members were very disappointed with those who were forming the new party.

“They are a disappointment to the nation ... outside the MKMVA they are nothing,” said Maphatsoe.

“It’s a non-starter because outside Umkhonto weSizwe (and the ANC) they are nothing, they must ask Julius (Malema). The ANC made Julius.”

He said these former MKMVA members who were joining the party were sellouts.

MKMVA was part of the ANC and, by starting another political party, these members had automatically expelled themselves from the ruling party.

SA First would not be a threat to the ANC, said Maphatsoe.

“If comrades are unhappy (they) can’t go out and form a new party,” he said.

“There is no difference between this group and Terror (Mosiuoa) Lekota’s of Cope.”

Mokhoanatse said SA First intended to contest the 2014 elections and would register the party with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) after the launch.

But the party did not have official leadership.

“Where there are prominent people, there are problems.”

Mokhoanatse said he and Twala would be running with the initiative, making sure it was grounded and structured.

The party was also not focused on membership.

“We are not membership driven. We are a coalition of independent citizens and civil society organisations.

“We are not looking for people to join, we are looking for South Africans to support us,” said Mokhoanatse.

The party said it wanted community leaders – independent candidates – to come forward to join the coalition.

The aim of SA First was to reclaim the space for private citizens and enable them to participate in influencing public discourse and to shape the future of the country.

According to a statement by SA First, the ANC had dismally failed to deliver credible and lasting socioeconomic and political solutions consistent with the expectations of South Africans and the Constitution.

“The spectre of the ruling party continuing to misgovern our country for the next five years can only yield one result – another failed state, in the southernmost tip of the African continent,” it said.

All opposition parties had also failed to deliver a credible alternative to the ruling party.

“Our country has reached a tipping point. It cannot be business as usual. The time to act is now,” the party said.

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