Guest Column

The MKMVA has lost all credibility

2017-06-12 11:17

Rebone Tau

The recent MKMVA conference took place during the most difficult era since the dawn of our democracy. On the eve on the conference, some MKMVA leaders and NEC members publicly questioned the composition of delegates and the status of the conference.

As the Citizen reported:

“As issues stand, we have it on good authority that about 60 percent of the more than 700 delegates that were registered yesterday [Wednesday] do not have ascertainable bona fides as MK military veterans. Given that a huge number of those veterans who have aligned themselves with the MK national council do not also have any form of representation in the forthcoming MKMVA conference, we hold that it would be incorrect for this conference to be viewed as a constitutional gathering of MKMVA with the powers to elect a new leadership.” 

It is worrying that President Zuma still addressed the MKMVA conference despite these serious concerns and that he did not condemn the leadership of the MKMVA regarding their divisions building up to the conference. What signal is the president sending to my generation when he is seen addressing such a conference without due regard to the issues that speak to its legitimacy?

It will be recalled that when the ANCYL Congress in 2014 experienced similar challenges, its status was changed from an elective congress to a consultative one. We welcomed that decision because we took it as the wisdom of our elders.

Why then was the MKMVA conference allowed to proceed under such serious legitimacy challenges? What is President Zuma teaching my generation and those that will come after me?

It is clear that there is a crisis within the MKMVA. The 101 ANC Stalwarts and Veterans have consistently raised serious issues around the MKMVA conference. Does this mean that President Zuma is factional? Why did he address a conference whose status was questioned by some of its own comrades and leaders?

What does that mean for us as a movement moving forward? It is clear that this is an era of madness and we will see abnormal dynamics playing themselves out during this time.

My generation had hoped to learn from the elders how the movement operates, but it is unfortunate that it is an era of madness. President O.R. Tambo, the longest president of the ANC, must be turning in his grave because all this is happening in the year we celebrate him and his life. This is indeed a sad era in our history. Oh my beloved movement that I love so much; it has been turned to a circus.

Who ever thought that in 2017 we would see comrades from exile tearing themselves apart? What must we learn from them? It is sad that President Zuma, who was also in exile, is unable to unify all these comrades.  

- Rebone Tau is a former ANC Youth League's National Task Team member. She writes in her personal capacity.

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