MKMVA national council slams Zuma's 'irresponsible outbursts' at Zondo commission

Former president Jacob Zuma (Gallo Images)
Former president Jacob Zuma (Gallo Images)

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) national council has slammed former president Jacob Zuma's allegations against its national chairperson, Siphiwe Nyanda, and ex-combatant, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, calling Zuma a liar.

"We view [comrade] Zuma's allegations as irresponsible outbursts from a person who is obfuscating and ducking in attempts to avoid speaking the truth to assist the work of the commission," the statement said.

The MKMVA national council's statement is in sharp contrast to the support shown to Zuma at the state capture inquiry on Monday by some MKMVA representatives.

The council felt that Zuma's conduct "to make unsubstantiated allegations to besmirch comrades", instead of addressing issues before the commission is unfortunate.

"However, the conduct seemingly follow[s] a particular behavioural pattern on his part, which is characterised by a worrying inclination to lie to save his own skin," the council said.

"This conduct has been gaining momentum as his trademark since he was initially released from the deputy presidency position of the country on the 14th June 2005."

Secretary general Gregory Nthatisi said supporters were also finding it easy to bring the ANC's name in disrepute.

He explained that the ANC had tried to bring the two groups of military veterans together, but it had not yet been successful.

He said that at its 54th conference, the ANC resolved to unite the two structures at a conference of their own. This is because there are two structures - the MKMVA and the MKMVANC.

He said the National Council came about as a result of trying to address and redress alleged wrongs committed by the MKMVA.

This was "in the main" taking a political posture, and making political pronouncements, which the council feels should be done by joining ANC branches and discussing issues there. 

The council feels taking political positions is "mismanaging and abusing" the name of former military veterans.

In efforts to avoid public spats, the National Council was formed, for different generations to be accommodated, and to avoid the recruitment of people who have not served in MK.

He said preparations for a conference for MK veterans to discuss these issues were underway, but MK veteran Kebby Maphatsoe apparently pulled out. He said they are now waiting for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to decide how to go forward with the issue.

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