Sisulu: Unity of MK essential for unity of the ANC

MK military veterans. (Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, The Times, file)
MK military veterans. (Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, The Times, file)

Johannesburg - Former senior Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) leaders have finally convened its much anticipated all-inclusive conference at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg on Friday.

This is in spite of being denied funds by the department of defence and military veterans to secure accommodation, transport and the printing of programmes for the event.

The MK Council which is led by Siphiwe Nyanda, the former chief of the South African Defence Force, has been at loggerheads with the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association.

READ: MK veterans council to boycott ANC policy conference

The latter is refusing to hold a joint conference with the former combatants, with its president Kebby Maphatsoe insisting a June conference where he was re-elected was legitimate.

"We hope that we will deliberate in the spirit of OR Tambo, not putting ourselves first but to try and win what has brought us here together, our survival and unity," said chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, who was also the day's programme director.

Unity call

Sharing in the day's message of unity was African National Congress presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu who made a surprise appearance at the event, and told hundreds gathered at the conference that the MK was a disciplined force of the ANC meant to keep all its people together at all times.

"This matter was raised last week during the NEC [national working committee] and one thing we were all certain about is that the unity of the MK is essential for the unity on the ANC," said Sisulu.

READ: Divisions emerge, despite MK veterans' attempts at unity

The human settlements minister gave a short briefing, promising delegates that she would say a lot more when she returns to the conference to speak in her own capacity on Saturday.

She had been deployed to speak on behalf of ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday.

"We have risen against all odds, that's why we are here," she said. Sisulu added that it was the liberation army's efforts that gave way to democracy in the country.

"I know without you they would be absolutely nowhere. There would be no gravitas and no direction, which can only be found when you are at the forefront of the movement," said Sisulu.

She also wished the gathering well.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7974 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2314 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 9672 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo