- Tensions between the MKMVA in KZN and Sihle Zikalala appear to be reaching boiling point, with the veterans accusing the Premier of "interfering" in their affairs.
- The veterans' association has also accused Zikalala of sowing divisions within the assocation.
- Zikalala has been meeting with the MKMVA in recent months.
Premier Sihle Zikalala and MK veterans are on a collision course.
The MK veterans' leadership in KwaZulu-Natal has warned Zikalala of dire consequences if he continues to "interfere" in their affairs.
Speaking to The Witness on Monday, Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) provincial chairperson, Themba Mavundla, warned that Zikalala, who in recent months had been holding talks with what Mavundla labelled a parallel structure of MKMVA, will face the wrath of the former soldiers.
"He is busy sowing divisions within the MKMVA and we have reached a point where we have to stop him. It’s now a do-or-die for us. Our warning to the premier and the ANC provincial chairperson is ‘you don’t mess up with soldiers'," he said.
This comes after Zikalala held a meeting with MKMVA members, including Babsy Sithole who claims to be the new interim leader of the organisation’s Moses Mabhida region.
READ | MK Vets slam Zikalala
On Friday, Mavundla led an MKMVA protest outside the ANC Durban provincial offices where he called on Zikalala and other party provincial leaders to desist from sowing division within the former soldiers.
The Sithole faction, which is embroiled in a power struggle with the Mavundla faction, refuses to recognise the current MKMVA leadership, saying its term of office expired months ago.
While Mavundla conceded that the term of the current MKMVA had expired, he said the ANC national leadership had issued a directive suspending all elective conferences by any of its structures.
"What this means is that the current MKMVA provincial leadership structure, just like any other ANC structure whose term has expired, continues to operate until such a time when the suspension has been lifted.
"Zikalala is well aware of the ANC national executive committee decision and yet he continues to behave in the manner he does.
"Where does he get the authority to meet people claiming to represent MKMVA members without first engaging us as the leadership. We are aware that he is also encouraging mayors and other ANC leaders to sideline the MKMVA leadership ... we will not allow that," he said.
Two weeks ago, Sithole led an MKMVA Moses Mabhida region delegation in a meeting with Msunduzi Mayor, Mzi Thebolla, sidelining the current leadership led by regional chairperson, Mzo Kheswa.
In that meeting Sithole and other war veterans in the Moses Mabhida region complained about the Msunduzi Municipality’s failure to create enough economic opportunities for MKMVA members. While Thebolla confirmed that he met Sithole and other war veterans’ representatives, he denied that the meeting had been designed to sow division within the MKMVA in the region.
"What I received was a request for a meeting by members of the MKMVA and other former liberation armies. Frankly speaking, I was never interested in the status of members of the delegations in their own organisations.
"What I was more interested in was the concerns they wanted to raise," he said.
Mavundla said the MKMVA leadership was currently in the process of lodging a complaint against Zikalala with ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
"We want the ANC national leadership to take action against him," he said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said he will first have to check whether Zikalala in his capacity as the party’s provincial chairperson did hold any meetings with MKMVA members.