The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) says it is “outraged” by the statement by Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa that this week’s incidents of looting and violence are consistent with the modus operandi of Umkhonto weSizwe.
In a letter to the ANC officials, which City Press has seen, the MKMVA, which has been at loggerheads with the ANC following the governing party’s decision to disband the structure, wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to reprimand Kodwa “for his irresponsible utterances, and distance yourselves from such unbecoming conduct”.
“We expect Kodwa to publicly retract his entirely unfounded statement and to apologise to the whole community of Umkhonto weSizwe veterans. Under the circumstances, nothing less will suffice,” read MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe’s letter.
“Only a total ignoramus, with no understanding of our long liberation struggle history and the role that Umkhonto weSizwe played in it, can make such an outrageous and callous statement. In having done so, Kodwa insulted every Umkhonto weSizwe veteran,” Maphatsoe said.
He said the courageous and central role that Umkhonto weSizwe played in the fight against apartheid should not be besmirched like this.
For the sake of putting the record straight, he said: “The MKMVA warned that the arrest and imprisonment of [former] president Jacob Zuma would be an ill-conceived decision and that it could lead to instability in our country.
“When doing so, we made it crystal clear that we are not in support of any instability or violence. We issued this warning as responsible citizens because we wanted it to be stopped.
“You, as the national office bearers of the ANC, know that we wrote several times to you, raising our concerns.”
He added: “It is totally disingenuous and dishonest to turn such a genuine and well-meant warning into an allegation that members of MKMVA may in any way whatsoever be involved in the tragic violence and looting that is now shaking our country, [and] this is dishonesty and scapegoating of the worst kind.”