MKMVA in Eastern Cape calls for verification of all military vets to eliminate bogus members

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MKMVA members stand guard in Johannesburg.
MKMVA members stand guard in Johannesburg.
Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, The TImes, file
  • The MKMVA in the Eastern Cape has called for the vetting of all members.
  • They say this will eliminate bogus members.
  • Provincial secretary Bushy Vantyu said they have also resolved to terminate the wearing of MKMVA military regalia.

The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in the Eastern Cape has called for the continuous verification and vetting of all liberation war veterans to eliminate bogus members. 

Provincial secretary Bushy Vantyu accused national leaders in the party of inflating numbers, saying that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the state security agency must review their databases.

The provincial executive called for Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to urgently decentralise the Department of Military Veterans' (DMV) services.

Vantyu said they had resolved to terminate the wearing of MKMVA military regalia. This, he said, was in line with the party's national elective conference at Nasrec.

"We have resolved to abolish the use of uniform in the province. But some people are still using it in funerals. But we insist on them not to do so. At times families of deceased request it. We are looking for an alternative. Amongst the things we are calling for is the burial of MK veterans by the defence ceremonial guard," he said. 

He accused the ANC of attempting to subtly downplay the role of its military during the liberation struggle and accused the governing party of dragging its feet when dealing with challenges veterans faced.

People purporting to be members of the ANC's former military wing had been marching in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, demanding that the party address their living conditions and factional battles in the party. 

Earlier this month, a group of MKMVA members closed the N12 freeway, east of Johannesburg, in an attempt to get the ruling party's attention.

READ | MKMVA's Kebby Maphatsoe summoned by top six over recording urging members to take up arms

On 25 September, members of the MKMVA marched in eThekwini, bringing the city to a standstill. The group was joined by the taxi industry, camping outside the ANC headquarters in the region.

This prompted ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to meet with the leadership of the structure in Durban, where he called on the government to assist former combatants to become participants in South Africa's economy.

Vantyu said: "If the ANC was resolute, these matters should have been settled. Timeframes were given to the resolutions of the veterans. If they were not paying lip service to our cries, the issue of the ministry should have been addressed by now. It's the second year of this administration and the resolutions were taken in 2017.

"We are almost past the halfway mark of the term. There is a subtle move to really downplay the legacy and heritage of the MK in the liberation movement. I call upon the ANC to really take the plight of the MK seriously and address those that were negatively affected by the integration process."

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