Nyanda dismisses Malema's army claims

2016-05-02 16:04
EFF protest (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

EFF protest (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - Former SANDF chief Siphiwe Nyanda on Monday denied claims that he held any sway over the army which had allegedly turned its loyalties to the EFF.

"Obviously it doesn't belong to me," Nyanda told News24.

"I am no longer in the leadership… I have nothing to do with the army."

On Saturday, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told those gathered at the party's local election manifesto launch at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, that the army would soon turn against government.

"The same army, they [the government] say… must be brought to the EFF, that army is going to turn their guns against them, because that army doesn't want this government. That army doesn't want the corrupt government.

"This army is the army of general Nyanda. This army is the army of our people," elaborated Malema.

He then directly addressed President Jacob Zuma. "I'm whispering to you Zuma: wherever you are those soldiers are going to turn your guns against you. Be warned leave office before the soldiers take their guns against you.

"The army is not happy… The army is the EFF."

On Monday, Nyanda said that while he was a commander of the army "years ago", the army did not belong to the chief of defence but rather "the people of South Africa".

Nyanda served as the SA National Defence Force chief from 1998 to 2005. He was also communications minister from 2009 to 2010 and during apartheid was involved in the ANC's armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Asked why he thought Malema mentioned him in the speech, Nyanda said Malema would be better qualified to answer that question.

Nyanda also denied that he'd had any recent contact with the EFF leader.

"I don't have contact with Malema, since he left the ANC."

In 2012, Malema was ousted from his position as leader of the ANC Youth League. The following year, he went on to form his opposition party, the EFF – now the third largest political party which is set to contest the local elections for the first time.

Read more on:    sandf  |  julius malema  |  siphiwe nyanda  |  politics 2016

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