‘Do not take us lightly’ - MK Vets

2018-09-16 17:13
MK vets regional secretary Menzi Mkhize.

MK vets regional secretary Menzi Mkhize.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

 “Do not provoke us. We have military training and don’t want to get to a point where we resort to a coup.”

This is the strong warning from uMkhonto weSizwe ex-combatants to municipalities who have failed to meet the MK vets’ demands for tenders, jobs and housing.

In an interview with Weekend Witness, MK vets regional secretary Menzi Mkhize said they felt they were being pushed into a corner by the refusal of some councils to give them what they say is due to them. In the past two months, the MK vets have shut down five Midlands councils to demand jobs, tenders and housing, and have threatened to continue disrupting services if their demands are not met.

Mkhize said the MK vets were capable of executing a coup because of all the military training they received while in exile and warned they did not want the situation to get to that point. “I think former president Jacob Zuma wanted to avoid a coup when he established the Department of Military Veterans. He is a military veteran himself and he knows what kind of training we received and what we are capable of,” he said.

Mkhize said the department, established by Zuma in 2009, had failed to assist many military veterans who he said were living in poverty.

“If you can go to Aloe Ridge now where we invaded flats, some military veterans will tell you that they have gone days without eating. Most military veterans are surviving on hand outs.

“Our children are even asking us what we went to exile for if we cannot provide for our families. When we sing struggle songs while taking a shower, our children tell us to stop making a noise because they don’t know which country we fought for because we are dying poor,” he said.

Mkhize, who spent years in Uganda receiving military training after joining uMkhonto weSizwe in 1988, said they had high hopes when they finally came home after the 1994 elections, believing their lives would be better.

“Remember, we never received any salaries when we were in exile. There was no one looking after our families.

“When I came back in 1994 with other military veterans, we expected to receive money and housing. This was informed by experiences in other countries where there had been liberation struggles.

“Military veterans were given houses, money, some went to businesses and some were given jobs.

“In our case, we were never integrated properly back to society. They tried to integrate us into the SA National Defence Force but it never worked. We did not even receive counselling when we came back after going through such traumatic experiences, where some of our comrades died while executing some operations,” he said.

Mkhize said some of the Midlands councils that they had brought to a standstill recently — including Msunduzi, uMgungundlovu, Richmond and Umvoti — were now co-operating.

“We have a situation where municipalities such as uMshwathi have invited us to meet to prevent a situation where there would be a protest,” he said.

“Only Mooi-Mpofana Municipality is giving us a headache. We are hoping they will come to their senses and withdraw the court interdict they obtained against us as the organisation.

Department of Community Safety and Liaison spokesperson Mluleki Mtungwa said the department was not taking lightly all the threats posed by the group that was involved in disrupting services in the province.

“There is a sub-committee that has been established by the cabinet which will be led by MEC Mxolisi Kaunda. The sub-committee will be dealing with all the illegal activities, including the invading of projects by business forums. We take these issues very serious,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  mkhonto wesizwe

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.