MK vets back Willies

2013-03-18 00:00

THE Mkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) in KwaZulu-Natal threw its weight behind Transport MEC Willies ­Mchunu to become the next ANC provincial chair at the weekend.

Although they don’t have voting power in the ANC, MKMVA provincial chairperson Themba Mavundla said yesterday the former soldiers have confidence in Mchunu to lead the provincial ANC.

“We have confidence in comrade Willies Mchunu.

“We have seen what he has done in serving the organisation without fail,” Mavundla said after a three-day provincial lekgotla in Pietermaritzburg to map out the former soldiers’ programme for the year.

His statement came days before the KZN ANC holds its provincial general council (PGC) in Durban at the weekend to fill four vacancies in its provincial leadership.

The provincial chair position, now held by Zweli Mkhize, is one of the positions to be filled at the PGC.

It is believed that the position is set to be contested by Willies Mchunu, who is the ANC provincial deputy chair, and Education MEC Senzo Mchunu.

The ANC’s powerful eThekwini regional chair, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, as well as the ANC Women’s and Youth leagues, have previously voiced their support for the Transport MEC.

However, Senzo Mchunu is believed to enjoy huge backing from several ANC regions in the province.

While MKMVA respected internal processes in the ruling party, Mavundla said, they hoped the PGC would ensure continuity in the provincial leadership.

“We call for continuity and stability in terms of ANC leadership and government,” Mavundla said, adding that the former SACP provincial chairperson had proved that he could lead the province.

“We wish him the best of luck with his team. We assure him of our support,” he said of Willies Mchunu.

On other lekgotla resolutions, Mavundla said the MKMVA in KZN would ask the government to reinter the remains of the MK cadres who were buried in foreign countries.

He said those fallen MKMVA leaders should not only be repatriated, but they should also be given military ranks and their families be compensated.

“They need to be ranked, their families compensated and then reburied.”

He also said the government needed to address the welfare and living conditions of unemployed cadres.

“MK members are dying. They are not only unemployed, but don’t even have shelter.

“We need the project to build them houses to be fast-tracked,” Mavundla said.

He added that the MKMVA wanted its members to be considered when redeployments were handled by the ANC.

“Based on the resolutions of Polokwane, which were confirmed in Mangaung, MKMVA should participate in all structures of the ANC, including deployment committees at national and provincial levels.”

Mavundla also expressed dismay at how the Department of Defence and Military Veterans looked after their interests and did not spend all its allocations.

Mavundla said Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula should be recalled and redeployed elsewhere, and someone “who understands the quagmire of cadres” should take over.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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