ANC catering to vets

2018-09-25 15:01
A file image of police watching as MK Vets walk out of the City Hall after their meeting with the mayor.

A file image of police watching as MK Vets walk out of the City Hall after their meeting with the mayor.

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Despite ANC bigwigs’ calls for a clampdown on Mkhonto weSizwe (MK) vets and other mafia-style organisations currently unleashing havoc in state entities, government leaders around the Msunduzi area have been secretly co-operating with the mobs.

The Witness has reliably been informed that the provincial Treasury Department has withdrawn a team it has seconded to the embattled provincial Health Department following demands by members of the controversial Federation for Radical Economic Transformation (FRET).

FRET members — who early this month stormed the provincial Health Department’s Natalia Building offices, holding the head of department and other senior officials hostage — had, amongst other things, demanded the immediate withdrawal of the team.

Sources in the department said members of the Treasury team had gone back to the Treasury’s offices shortly after the invasion by FRET members that saw Health Department head Musa Gumede and high-ranking officials held hostage.

Despite calls by the ANC in the province for stern action to be taken against members of the FRET, it has also emerged that the Health Department has not laid any criminal charges against the perpetrators almost a month after the invasion.

The FRET’s activities in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas happened parallel to the disruption of municipalities by members of MK vets, who had been demanding jobs and tenders from council bosses.

In the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, where the war vets in July staged a sit-in as part of their campaign to force municipalities to provide them with jobs and tenders, plans to employ the ex-combatants are said to be at an advanced stage.

“We have since advised them to submit their CVs as part of processes to get them placed in jobs. Our view is that as a local government we have an obligation to assist the MK people who are currently without jobs,” a source within the municipality’s top leadership said.

This after uMgungundlovu District Mayor Thobekile Maphumulo and the municipal manager, Ray Ngcobo, had during a meeting with the war vets in June made an undertaking to “cater” for the ex-combatants.

In the Richmond Local Municipality, where the war vets also held a protest in recent weeks, ANC councillors are pushing for the council’s meeting due to be held at the end of the month, to give the municipality the green light to assist the veterans.

“Our position is that we don’t have large numbers of war vets in the Richmond area and assisting those who live within the municipality will not have a major impact on our finances,” an ANC councillor, who did not want his name revealed as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said.

While Treasury confirmed the withdrawal of its officials from the Health Department, it said the withdrawal was temporary. “It’s the provincial executive council that can make a decision on the permanent withdrawal. Currently no such decision has been made,” KZN Treasury spokesperson Musa Cebisa said.

On the other hand, the uMgungundlovu Municipality, which conceded to having requested MK vets to submit their CVs to the council, has denied it intended to bend government employment rules to accommodate the former ANC soldiers. “All we told them is that they should submit their CVs, just like in any citizen,” the municipal spokesperson, Brian Zuma, said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  mkhonto wesizwe

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