Efforts for a joint conference failed - MKMVA

2017-06-07 20:02
Des van Rooyen

Des van Rooyen

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Johannesburg – The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) will hold its national congress without a group of former generals and commissars, its leaders said on Wednesday.

"All our efforts have definitely failed. But there's no way in which our constitutional mandate to hold a successful conference can be stalled by that particular failure," MKMVA treasurer general Des van Rooyen told reporters in Johannesburg.

He was referring to attempts to get the group, which calls itself the MK council, to be part of the MKMVA's 5th national congress, which starts in Boksburg on Friday.

MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said the association would discuss the ANC's upcoming national policy conference and the second phase of the national democratic revolution, and elect new office bearers and a national executive.

The conference would take place with the guidance of 10 ANC national executive committee (NEC) members.

"We were literally in the firing line and risked our very lives in order to secure the liberation of our country. Therefore, each and every one of us has a deep and personal commitment to defend and ensure our national democratic revolution does not falter," Maphatsoe said.

'Honour' for Zuma

The council told journalists this week it would be a fruitless exercise to participate in both the MKMVA's conference and the ANC's consultative conference. The latter would take place during the first two days of the ANC's policy conference later in June.

Van Rooyen said the MKMVA could not be equated with the council.

"We are a constitutionally elected structure, the only structure which is recognised by the ANC," he said.

Maphatsoe said the council's decision was unfortunate, but they were still welcome to attend and explain the issues they raised in 2016. It had expressed concerns about the welfare of former veterans, strengthening the veterans' league, and the ranking of defence force members and police officers.

The MKMVA criticised the media and praised President Jacob Zuma for his leadership. Zuma was expected to deliver an opening address at the conference.

"We honour and respect him for the great contribution that he made and continues to make to the liberation of our beloved country," Maphatsoe said.

He asked the media to cover the event in an unbiased and fair manner, due to reports about emails leaked from the Gupta family.

The Gupta family, which has close ties to Zuma, had been accused of helping the MKMVA, including with drafting media statements. He said the Guptas had approached the association and that they had a relationship, but that this did not extend to giving advice on dealing with the media. 

Read more on:    anc  |  mkmva  |  jacob zuma

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