Johannesburg – There is no logic in someone who pretends to have been in Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) to be lashing out at the real members of the liberation army, former minister in the presidency Essop Pahad said.
"Who is he anyway? We don’t know him and we have been in the MK for donkey's years," Pahad told News24 on Friday.
He said the veterans of the ANC had received a positive response to their call for a consultative conference to discuss the future of the 104-year-old liberation movement. However, he had heard there were some, like Maphatsoe who had been critical of the stalwarts' voicing of concerns on the state of the party.
"He pretends to be in the MK. He was never in the MK and everybody knows that," said Pahad.
Maphatsoe told Times Live that the veterans of the party were "empty tins with no credibility," comments from which the ANC has distanced itself.
Pahad said Maphatsoe was part of what is wrong with the ANC today - members reaching high positions in the party through lists.
"People like him come up in the party and abuse that power," the former minister said.
The ANC has also criticised Maphatsoe's comments, describing them as irresponsible.
"Our veterans remain the fountain of wisdom for the entire congress," said the party in a statement.
More than 100 veterans are behind a call for urgent intervention in the ANC, including the three remaining Rivonia trialists, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Dennis Goldberg.
Pahad said that although they were happy with the positive response they had received so far, they hoped they would receive that same reaction from President Jacob Zuma.
They have written to Zuma to ask for a meeting with them to discuss their concerns.
"We hope he reacts positively and agrees to meet with a delegation of stalwarts to see what it is that can be done to help the ANC out of its crisis," said Pahad.