MKVA calls for unity, support for Zuma

2012-08-18 18:59


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Johannesburg - The ANC must not allow itself to be divided by leadership battles as it was during the party's last conference in Polokwane, Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said on Saturday.

"We must go to Mangaung as one and emerge united. We must not go to another Polokwane," he said.

Maphatsoe was speaking at the opening of the Gauteng Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) provincial conference in Johannesburg.

He said the MKMVA would allow for debate on the leadership of the ANC at their national conference next month, but until then the organisation was behind party president Jacob Zuma.

The ANC's national conference would take place in Mangaung in December.

Maphatsoe argued that Zuma had taken over a divided party and had struggled to manage it effectively.

32-year-old CIA plot

"Zuma was never given the space to lead the ANC efficiently," he said.

This was because of both divisions in the party and a continuation of a 32-year-old CIA plot to prevent Zuma from getting into the ANC National Executive Committee in 1990, Maphatsoe claimed.

"Today, we see again those tendencies," he said. "It's not a new thing. It's a continuation."

MKMVA Gauteng chairperson Duma Mlambo earlier also called on Mkhonto we Sizwe veterans to support Zuma as "the patron and member" of MKMVA.

"We must support the president as the patron and member of MKMVA," Mlambo said.

Mlambo and Maphatsoe both complained that MK veterans were being under-utilised by not being deployed into government positions.

'Nucleus of the revolution'

"We have a great number of veterans but many are wasted and not deployed," Maphatsoe said.

Mlambo argued there would be less corruption and fewer service delivery protests if more veterans were working in government departments.

Mlambo said that the veterans had once been called "the nucleus of the revolution" by former ANC President OR Tambo but this was no longer the case.

The organisation would have to implement resolutions to cease being a "laughing stock".

"We are no longer going to be a laughing stock to our people."

Saturday's provincial conference was also an elective one, with new officers being chosen.

'Petty issues'

Maphatsoe said the provincial MKMVA had been riven with divisions to the point of being non-functioning.

"There have been acrimonious, internal battles, one after another," Maphatsoe said. "It is a result of these divisions there has not been activities."

He said the issues were "not politically significant" but were only "petty issues".

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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