MKMVA defies ANC call to disband

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Former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters and members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association march along the road near his home in Nkandla on Friday to protest the ruling that Zuma must go to jail for 15 months Photo: TEBOGO LETSIE
Former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters and members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association march along the road near his home in Nkandla on Friday to protest the ruling that Zuma must go to jail for 15 months Photo: TEBOGO LETSIE

The uMkhonto weSizwe military veterans, who are currently camping outside former president Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, on Tuesday continued to ignore the directive from the ANC to disband the MK ex-combatants' leadership structures.

This comes after the ANC national executive committee (NEC) endorsed the decision of the party's national working committee (NWC) that the leadership of the former military wing should be disbanded.

However, uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) national spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, said the organisation would not comply with the ANC leadership's directive.

“The MKMVA remains functional and will not disband,” he said.

The decision by the ANC to disband the MKMVA leadership comes after concerns that the party's former military wing has become part of a faction sowing divisions within the ANC.

Briefing the media on Tuesday, ANC deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte, said the MKMVA leadership structure would be replaced by an interim task team.

“The NEC ...confirms the establishment of the MK Veterans Unity Conference Preparatory Committee,” she said.

Members of the MKMVA, who together with the ANC's radical economic transformation (RET) faction are backing Zuma and suspended ANC secretary general, ACE Magashule, have vowed to form a “human shield” to protect Zuma against arrest.

The ANC NEC, Duarte said, viewed the conduct of the MKMVA members outside Zuma's Nkandla home as “shameful”.

"The actions of sections of MKMVA, in the year that we are due to celebrate 60 years of Umkhonto we Sizwe which as a liberation army prided itself on its discipline, is a shameful blight on this proud history. The threat of violence aimed at undermining our democracy and its core institutions is counter-revolutionary, akin to similar displays and acts by extreme right-wing elements," she said. 

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