Underaged ‘MK Vets’

2018-11-15 15:44
 A file image of MK Vets.

A file image of MK Vets. ( mkhonto wesizwe)

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The “military veterans” who invaded Aloe Ridge include a 23-year-old, people who already have other government housing, and several who are not on the veterans database.

This is according to a report by the KZN Department of Human Settlements on 152 of the invaders who took occupation of 261 flats at the city’s flagship rental-housing project, in Westgate-Grange.

The 23-year-old who now occupies a flat in block eight, was not even born when all the veterans returned from exile in 1994.

Four of the invaders are in their 30s, the youngest being 31, meaning he was only seven when Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994. Most of the invaders (44) are in their early 40s.

The report revealed that 25 of the invaders had already benefited from free government housing or had been approved for a house.

Furthermore, 39 are not on the Department of Military Veterans’ database.

Babo Mndaweni, an Azanla veteran who co-ordinated the invasion, conceded that some of the occupiers were under age. “There are people who were born in 1980 and there is no way that those people could have received military training. This means they would have been 10 years old in 1990 and that means they were not even part of the self defence units [SDUs].

“This is totally wrong,” he said.

Mndaweni blamed delays with the Department of Military Veterans for the fact that many people did not appear on the database.

Capital City Housing CEO Ivor Caldecott said they had been informed that the list was not complete as only 152 of the 261 units invaded by military veterans had been surveyed. “We have not conducted our own surveys, and accordingly rely on information passed to us.

“For safety concerns we are not able to attend the occupied area. As an independent NPO specialising in paid-for social housing, we are unaware of the categories and housing initiatives that are available to military veterans.

“We are also unsure of the age requirements in order to be classified as a military veteran. We are, however, certain that the occupation was sanctioned by military veterans,” he said.

Caldecott said they had also been told by the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) that SDUs or amabutho may also have occupied the site at the same time as the military veterans. “In our opinion, resolution can only be found with the intervention of senior members of government, through negotiation with the illegal occupiers,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  mkhonto wesizwe

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