Majority of MK Vets ‘not on database’

2019-01-07 15:27
 A file image of MK Vets.

A file image of MK Vets. ( mkhonto wesizwe)

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The majority of former members of the ANC military wing Mkhonto weSizwe (MK), currently demanding government housing in Pietermaritzburg, do not qualify for special state assistance as they are not in the military veterans’ database.

The former soldiers, who last year invaded more than 200 flats in the city’s flagship rental housing complex, Aloe Ridge, are still stuck in the complex as the Human Settlements Department is not able to provide them with free housing.

MK war veterans currently living at the complex, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Witness that the issue of the database was creating tensions between the occupiers and the MK leadership in the region.

“When the MK leadership brought us here they told us that it was going to be a temporary measure as the Human Settlements Department would soon be building houses for us.

“However, what we have since been told is that most of us will not be able to get those government houses as our names don’t appear in the Military Veterans’ Department database. Our main concern is that the MK leadership is doing nothing to assist us in this regard,” he said.

The provincial Human Settlements Department, which has housing projects around the city catering for the war vets, has confirmed that most of the people occupying flats in Aloe Ridge were not on the military veterans’ database.

The Witness has since established that even the name of Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) Moses Mabhida regional secretary, Menzi Mkhize, is not on the database of MK people entitled to housing assistance.

Mkhize, who said he was aware of the fact, said he and other MK veterans in the region were entitled to government housing assistance irrespective of whether or not they were on the database.

“We know all the people who were in the MK in this region … so, don’t tell us about a database which was prepared by people we don’t even know.

“If there are houses built for MK people in this region we will ensure that MK soldiers move into those houses — whether or not they are in the so-called database,” he said.

On claims that the regional MKMVA leadership had failed to assist its members to be properly registered with the Military Veterans Department, Mkhize said the leadership had done everything possible to get its members registered.

“We even staged a protest outside the department’s offices. We gave them the full list of all MK people from our region but they simply ignored it ...” he said.

Meanwhile, the company that owns the Aloe Ridge complex, Capital City Housing, has defaulted on mortgage repayments due to the financial loss caused by the war veterans’ illegal occupation of the flats.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  mkhonto wesizwe

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