Growing frustration over years of unkept promises of economic opportunities reached a tipping point for members of the Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MK Vets) in the Moses Mabhida Region, who on Tuesday carried out a sit-in at the ANC offices on Hoosen Haffejee Street.
About 60 members of the MK Vets invaded the ANC offices from 9.20 am until late on Tuesday afternoon demanding to be addressed by KwaZulu-Natal’s ANC chairperson, Sihle Zikalala.
When The Witness arrived at the offices on Tuesday afternoon, the police were outside speaking to some of the MK Vets. About 30 other MK Vets were sitting and some standing in the reception area at the ANC office.
Sibusiso Xaba, a member of the MK Vets, told The Witness they would not vacate the offices until Zikalala accepted their memorandum and addressed them in person.
“Our issue is that MK Vets, who risked their lives fighting for this country, are being neglected and we are living in poverty,” he said.
Xaba said the government and Msunduzi Municipality have, on numerous occasions, formulated programmes to help employ MK Vets but these benefits do not reach the members on the ground allegedly due to corruption and nepotism within the ANC structures.
“Just recently Msunduzi Municipality launched some land invasion prevention programme that offered about 100 jobs. Promises were made that we will be considered for a majority of these jobs but today there are only about 15 MK Vets members who were hired.”
He said this has become a norm as some ANC top officials bring in their own people, who are not MK Vets, for jobs created for the benefit of MK Vets. “All we want is for Zikalala to resolve this matter because we have tried raising the matter with other provincial ANC structures but that got nowhere. We also want beneficiaries of those MK Vet members who died on the job to be taken care of, their children should also be given jobs and study bursaries,” said Xaba.
Attempts to get comment from both the ANC provincial spokesperson, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, and KZN ANC secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli were unsuccessful on Tuesday.