Those who want to arrest Zuma will have to go through us, say MK vets

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Former president Jacob Zuma seen in court.
Former president Jacob Zuma seen in court.
Felix Dlangamandla
  • On Friday, MKMVA members formed a guard of honour outside Nkandla as its national executive committee visited former president Jacob Zuma.
  • The association said it would try to prevent the arrest of the former president.
  • The visit was not only to show support to Zuma, but also formed part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. 

The uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) says it will do everything within its means to protect former president Jacob Zuma from being arrested.

On Friday, the MKMVA visited Zuma's homestead in Nkandla as part of its visits to senior MK veterans in celebration of its 60th anniversary, as well as to show support for the former president amid his continued battle with the Zondo commission.

Zuma is expected to appear before the commission on Monday but he has insisted that he will risk jail, and defy a Constitutional Court order.

In a statement on Saturday, issued by its spokesperson Carl Niehaus, the MKMVA said:
Our message to them is crystal clear: before you continue your insidious factional political project of attacking President Zuma, and try to arrest him, you will first have to face us. We as MKMVA will not allow you to further harass, humiliate, and even arrest one of the most illustrious commanders of MK. Enough is enough!

The association visited the former president in full MK gear and formed a guard of honour at the gates of Nkandla which it said was a sign it was "ready to defend and protect our patron-in-chief".

"This message that it is truly enough now was a consistent thread of revolutionary commitment in all the messages of support that the individual MKMVA NEC members delivered to President Zuma, when each one spoke during the meeting," it said.

During its audience with Zuma, the MKMVA expressed its concerns about the divide within the ANC and what it called the ruling party's failure to implement radical economic transformation.

"It was noted with frustration and concern that black, and especially African, businesses are increasingly on the back foot, and are not getting support from our current government, despite the fact that the ANC is the governing party."

The MKMVA accused the state capture commission and its chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice [Raymond] Zondo of being "attack tools in the hands of reactionaries" to prevent the liberation of black South Africans and to destroy the ANC.

In the statement, Niehaus said that Zuma and the MKMVA agreed that the organisation - "who as ex-combatants of MK are the sharp edge of the spear of the ANC" - must prevent those who want to destroy the party. 

On Saturday, however, President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the ANC's support for the Zondo commission, at the start of the party's national executive committee meeting this weekend.  

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