MK Council and MKMVA NEC host separate events on Saturday

2017-05-13 09:18

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Johannesburg - Two organisations both claiming to be acting with former ANC veterans interests in mind are set to hold separate events on Saturday ahead of a joint conference in June.

The Umkthonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association, and the MK Council - which is made up of former generals and commissars of the liberation movement’s army, will both be giving feedback to members, one in Ekurhuleni and the other near Soweto.

This is amid constant friction between the two groups over how their joint conference should be convened.

The MKMVA’s chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said the association was hosting an extended national executive committee meeting, which will include officials from provinces across the country.

This comes after the Council announced that it was due to have a national gathering for its members’ feedback following its first national assembly held in December 2016.

MK Council steering committee member Thabang Makwetla said their gathering convened was to give an update report to MK former members on engagements it’s had with officials at the ANC, the MKMVA, plans for a veterans league conference and preparations for a joint conference.

“It’s also an update on our engagement with the leadership of the MKMVA... we had resolutions as well that addressed challenges around the MKMVA and what former members of the MK felt should be done to address those problems,” Makwetla said.

The former senior leaders of the liberation army had raised concern over the role of the MKMVA, claiming that it was involved in ANC factional battles and not doing enough to look after those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle against an apartheid regime.

“Even a person who is not so smart can read what actually the intended consequences of that kind of plan is,” said Makwetla on the MKMVA’s NEC meeting falling on the same day the council had planned to brief members.

He added that it was very strange that Maphatsoe would have those activities simultaneously planned to take place parallel to the council that is sitting.

Makwetla said he believed it was to create confusion in terms of where people should be going.

“It doesn’t worry us what he organised at Birchwood [the venue of the MKMVA NEC] and now all of a sudden [it is] an extended meeting… which includes representatives from the province, it doesn’t worry us,” he said.

Maphatsoe defended the parallel event, telling News24 during the week that it was a scheduled meeting. He said the aim was to communicate decisions taken by the MKMVA’s national working committee to its NEC.

The NWC of the MKMVA had been part of meetings with the MK Council and the office of the party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe to resolve an impasse between the two groups

Talks for the conference, which was set for the end of May, deadlocked but were resolved under the SG’s guidance and a new date of June 8 was agreed upon.

Maphatsoe said he was worried about whether or not the NEC would accept some of those decisions.

“From where I am seated and I have seen the WhatsApps circulating - it might be difficult for the NEC to endorse those decisions,” Maphatsoe said.

The MKMVA chair said if this was the case then they would have to return to the negotiation table.

This is a view Makwetla seems to differ with, telling News24 that the only other body which would be given a chance to speak on the agreements reached by the two parties would be the NEC of the ANC itself.

Mantashe told them following their meeting that he would table a report before the committee.

“It is just mischief if this is what the chair of the MKMVA has said, to say these decisions which had been taken are for the purposes of ratification. That they think they can be vetted by the NEC of the MK. There is no such,” Makwetla said.

Maphatsoe said regardless of what happens going forward an MKMVA conference will sit on June 8.

Read more on:    anc  |  mkmva

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