The ANC Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has taken the hardline, saying that the current leadership has not managed to effectively represent the governing party and what it stands for.
Speaking during their briefing after a national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Tuesday morning, the association’s leader, Kebby Maphatsoe, did not mince his words regarding the party’s lack of “decisive leadership”.
He used the opportunity to preach against factionalism in the party but ironically also made it clear that the grouping had not supported President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election to lead the governing party at the ANC’s elective conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, in 2017.
The MKMVA’s favoured candidate was Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, however, they claim to have supported Ramaphosa as disciplined members of the party.
“The MKMVA has on numerous occasions warned that the lack of unity and leadership from our current NEC is taking us along a very perilous path. The time to beat about the bush is long over. As MKMVA we have earned our right to speak out,” Maphatsoe said.
What seems to be their main bone of contention is that their proposal to have a ministry for military veterans had never been considered and their needs were not fully granted under the ministry of defence.
“While we acknowledge some services are delivered with regard to housing and education for military veterans and their dependants, service delivery is a bureaucratic nightmare and woefully inadequate. The incomplete database of military veterans is an insult to many ex-MK veterans whose names are still omitted. However, we appreciate that a process has now started to correct this situation,” Maphatsoe lamented.
Another concern was about the extent of rot in the party, as Maphatsoe spoke harshly against corruption which involved members.
He said it was up to Ramaphosa to stand his ground and deliver on his promise to fight maladministration.
“The issue of Covid-19 coronavirus looting is truly the litmus test for President Ramaphosa. He campaigned on an anticorruption ticket and for unity in the ANC. To successfully lance the boil of corruption that is now poisoning the whole body of our liberation movement, factionalism and selective morality that destroys unity must be rooted out,” he said.
The MKMVA believes that law enforcement should be allowed to do its job without the assistance of the inter-ministerial committee that was appointed to deal with the matter. Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has been appointed as the chairperson of the committee.
Among those appointed are Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, Police Minister Bheki Cele, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“MKMVA is perplexed about the role that the announced inter-ministerial committee will play, except to get involved in parallel work and thus muddy the waters. MKMVA therefore calls for that committee to be dissolved, and for the security agencies to be allowed the freedom to do their work without any interference or hindrance,” the MKMVA leaders said.
This follows the tender fraud that occurred in the Gauteng health department, in which ministers and MECs have been implicated.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, and Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku’s wife, Loyiso Lugayeni-Masuku, who is the MMC in the City of Johannesburg, were among those implicated in the Covid-19 tender irregularities.
The association took it a step further by urging civil society organisations to treat those who have been implicated in incidents of corruption fairly, noting that former president Jacob Zuma had become a target after facing allegations of corruption but there was a particular silence over the recent flurry of accusations.
“Now their [civil society] silence and inaction about the massive Covid-19 looting speak volumes about selective morality and sheer hypocrisy. Even when they do, on the odd occasion, say something about the current wave of massive corruption, they are quiet about those political leaders whom they favour, while selectively using allegations of corruption against those whom they want to target,” he said.