ANC national and provincial leaders must step down – MK vets council

2017-02-01 16:12
MK soldiers. (File, Gallo)

MK soldiers. (File, Gallo)

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Johannesburg - The UMkhonto weSizwe Military veterans' council has called for the entire leadership of the African National Congress to step down, including provincial leaders.

The council resolved that the national executive council (NEC) and the party's provincial structures should be disbanded at the national consultative conference and interim leaders should take over until the December elective conference.

"The strong sentiment expressed by the council [is] for the NEC to disband at the national consultative conference and for an interim leadership to preside over the provincial disbandment and the appointment of provincial interim leadership committees," the former generals of the ANC's liberation army said.

On Wednesday, they held a media briefing following a meeting with the ANC's top six leaders on Monday where the council's steering committee presented its resolutions from its December gathering.

News24 understands that five of the ANC's top six rejected the suggestion for the leadership to step down.

The veterans' council is throwing its weight behind a call by ANC stalwarts for the party to separate the consultative conference from its policy conference.

However, the ANC NEC has already rejected the proposal, and has insisted that the two be held in the same week.

READ: It’s war among the ranks of MK vets

Election showing

In December the former commanders and generals of the ANC's liberation army said they were worried about the state of the ANC following its dismal showing at the 2016 municipal elections. The ANC lost control of three key metros and support declined in several provinces.

The gathering that brought together more than three thousands former MK members also raised concern over slates, vote buying and the weak state of branches in the political party.

Siphiwe Nyanda, a former SANDF chief and MK general, told journalists that they understood that the consultative conference wouldn't necessarily heal all of the ANC's problems.

He also said if the dissolution of the NEC wasn't discussed at the conference, it would not be the end of the road.

"You can find other mechanisms to ensure that the integrity of the process [elective conference] is enhanced by getting other people, even from here [pointing at other former MK leaders] to participate in the preparation of conference and so on and so forth," said Nyanda.

The steering committee refused to answer questions regarding its faith in the current leaders of the ANC.

"We are not here to endorse all those people in the weekend newspapers," said Ka Shabangu, a member of the steering committee.

Shabangu said the MK vets were merely trying to lay a foundation from which leaders could be elected.

Meeting with MKMVA

Another member, Gregory Nthatisi, said they respected processes and leaders elected in the party and the council would not enter the succession debate currently underway.

"What we want in the end... there should be no distinction between this intervention committee of council as well as them," Nyanda said, referring to the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA).

He confirmed that the council's steering committee met with leaders in the MKMVA on Tuesday and said they would announce a way forward at a joint media briefing on Monday.

The council was widely seen as an attempt to weaken chairperson of the MKMVA Kebby Maphatsoe's grip on the organisation.

The council expressed concern over the MKMVA's involvement in factional battles in the ANC, its lack of legitimacy and its inability to account for resources and activities in the association.

"We should speak with one voice, I think there is understanding about that," said Nyanda.

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Read more on:    mk  |  anc  |  politics 2017

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