Zuma, Motsoeneng, Molefe, Myeni all no-shows at MKMVA awards

2016-12-16 06:17
MKMVA chair Kebby Maphatsoe. (Mahlatse Mphoentle Gallen, News24)

MKMVA chair Kebby Maphatsoe. (Mahlatse Mphoentle Gallen, News24)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma and other "stars" of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association's 55th commemoration gala dinner were a no-show on Thursday.

The gala dinner at Emperor's Palace casino in Ekurhuleni was intended to present special awards to former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, and SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni. All three were absent.

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, who had been expected to welcome guests, was also not there. A member of his mayoral committee was there instead. ANC Women's League's president Bathabile Dlamini was another notable absence. She was listed on the programme as one of the speakers.

No explanation was given for Zuma or the other guests' absence. State Security Minister and ANC national executive committee member David Mahlobo stood in for Zuma.

“Dear colleagues please note that President Zuma has sent his apologies to the MKMVA awards dinner taking place tonight at Gauteng Caesars, thanks just so that we don’t expect him,” presidency spokesperson Bongani Majola said in a text message.

The event was supposed to have started at 18:00. It only got underway after 20:00 and tables took a while to fill up.

MKMVA treasurer and Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen joined the organisation’s leader Kebby Maphatsoe.

On Tuesday, Maphatsoe defended the awards, which critics said were being made to people who were never part of the ANC's liberation movement. 

Maphatsoe told journalists that the trio would get special awards dedicated to non-combatants. They were honouring South Africans who played a role in the current phase of the country’s transformation.

He said Molefe and Myeni had set aside a percentage of procurement at state-owned entities to go to military veterans.  

The MKMVA leader's grip on the association is being challenged. Former senior MK commanders were planning to hold a special national council for former party combatants on Saturday.

Maphatsoe had barred MKMVA members from attending the event, saying it was outside ANC structures.

Read more on:    mkmva  |  jacob zuma  |  kebby maphatsoe

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