MKMVA conference date might be moved up again

2017-03-07 18:39

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Johannesburg – The uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) might have to move its conference forward yet again. This is according to its general secretary, following a meeting with former senior leaders of MK.

Leaders in the MKMVA met with the steering committee of the MK Council on Monday to discuss the former's national executive committee's (NEC) discussions on the proposal for a joint conference.

Last month, the MKMVA announced it would bring the conference forward from September to May and organise for the gathering of former combatants of the liberation movement's army.

But the MK Council has now requested that the conference be held as soon as April.

"We had a good meeting, with minor disagreements here and there," said MKMVA general secretary Dumisani Nduli on Tuesday.

He said there were some issues around the date of the conference and the joint preparatory committee which still needed to be ironed out.

Date too close to ANC conferences

"They want the conference brought forward to maybe April," said Nduli.

He said there was some concern that the May 25-28 date was too close to the ANC's policy and consultative conferences taking place in June.

"In June, there'll be the policy conference and it's a big one with a lot of discussions. If our conference wraps on the 28th, we would have to do a report which will take up to the middle of June to prepare," he added.

The MK Council put emphasis on military detachments, while the constitution of the MKMVA placed importance on provinces and regions, said Nduli.

He said these were just some of the issues which would only be resolved through the constitutional amendment committee, once the conference sits.

On Sunday, MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe told journalists that the conference would, in accordance with the association's constitution, be the sole responsibility of the association's NEC.

'On the same page'

Nduli said the council viewed this as an absorption of the structure, instead of a joint partnership. However, he added that none of the groupings felt they had to call on the ANC to resolve their issues.

"We are not referring the matter to the ANC for mediation, but we will resolve it ourselves," he said.

The MKMVA also held a meeting with the SACP, which party spokesperson Alex Mashilo described as having gone "very well".

"As co-founders of the MK, and having played a crucial role in the life of the MK, [the SACP] was very concerned about the clear divisions in the ranks of the veterans," said Mashilo.

He said the two organisations had exchanged perspectives on "why we requested the meeting and engage one another, not only in the ranks of the MK veterans, but throughout our movement".

Mashilo said the meeting was encouraging and that some of the issues that were brought up by the MKMVA had already discussed.

"We were on the same page as to what the challenges and weaknesses are," he said.

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