MKMVA - Hands off Jacob Zuma, or else...

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Former President Jacob Zuma before the Zondo Commission in 2019 (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)
Former President Jacob Zuma before the Zondo Commission in 2019 (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)
Felix Dlangamandla

Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) on Saturday released a statement in which they pledge their support for former President Jacob Zuma, saying  any attempt to arrest him “will lead to massive instability, that will not be in the interest of our country, or the African National Congress”.

In a statement circulated by Carl Niehaus, National Executive Member of  the MKMVA, they said they visited “our Patron in Chief, President Jacob Zuma, in a very successful visit at his Nkandla residence, on Thursday”.

“… Our MKMVA NEC visit was intended to express our strong and unwavering support to him. In doing so the NEC of MKMVA delivered our message to President Zuma that our membership are solid and united in their support for him.”

The statement said this was underscored by the presence of MKMVA members in full MK camouflage uniform who formed a guard of honour at the gates of the Nkandla residence, when the MKMVA NEC delegation arrived for the visit.

 “This was not just a symbolic gesture, it was a clear and unequivocal message of support for President Zuma by the membership of MKMVA, and our intention to defend and protect our Patron in Chief, from those who decided to make themselves his enemies, target him, and declare war on him.

“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 statement said 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.

 “Black executives are also not supported, and are constantly under attack and being undermined. All of this is happening while white businesses are all the time being empowered, and are laughing all the way to the bank.

 “The legitimate fight against corruption has been turned into an aberration, where it seems that only blacks are deemed to be corrupt and relentlessly pursued for every misdemeanour, while white monopoly capital is hardly pursued, and treated with kid gloves. Sadly, it seems that we have become our own worst enemies, turning on our own and devouring ourselves, while those who colonised us, stolen our land, bankrolled apartheid and committed some of the worst crimes against humanity, are still walking free on the streets of our motherland.”

The statement said they “appraised President Zuma of the media statement that we issued on the 18th of August 2020 in which we expressed our serious concerns about the factionalism in the ANC, and the resultant failure to implement the radical and fundamental transformation of our economy, in order to empower the majority of black people. We reemphasised our commitment to principled unity in the ANC, and that we see it as our task as MK soldiers and commissars, who are the most committed and advanced members of our Movement, to work tirelessly for unity.”

The delegation told Zuma that it is clear that since they issued that statement and approached the NEC of the ANC to help to save the ANC “to regain the revolutionary heart of our Liberation Movement, and to ensure that ANC once again becomes the servant of our people - especially the poor - matters have become worse, not better”.

“Evidently there are those members of the ANC NEC who are not prepared to listen to our very sincere voice of reason. Instead they have turned on MKMVA and attacked us viciously. This situation is untenable, and we cannot allow it to continue. It is clear to us that those who behave in this fashion have to be confronted and exposed. In general it was noted that throughout the ANC those courageous comrades who continue to be committed to the official ANC programme of Radical Economic Transformation are targeted, wrongly accused of being factional or a ‘separate grouping’, and victimised and purged. The MKMVA NEC stated that while President Zuma is the highest profile, and most outrageous, example of such un-comradely behaviour and vilification and victimisation, and we are fully prepared and ready to protect him; we are also committed to defend and protect all other comrades who are similarly targeted.”

The statement said MKMVA is “committed not to allow the truly committed revolutionaries in the ANC to be purged, because without them the ANC will never be able to fulfil its revolutionary task”.

It said they will no longer allow these kinds of attacks to continue unchallenged.

“In this context the MKMVA NEC members noted that the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture (popularly known as the Zondo Commission) was by the recent admission of the former Public Protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela, specifically established to target President Zuma, and make him responsible for the conjured up, and totally unclear concept of ‘state capture’. “It is clear from what Madonsela said, that without targeting President Zuma there is no Zondo Commission. While President Zuma is undeniably the major target of the Zondo Commission, others who have committed themselves to the radical economic transformation of our country are also targeted and relentlessly pursued. The NEC members of MKMVA stated that we have no doubt that the intention is to arrest and imprison President Zuma, and to destroy those who are committed to see that our economy is finally placed in the control of blacks, especially Africans, where it belongs.

“As such we have come to the conclusion that the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, and especially its Chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Zondo, have become attack tools in the hands of reactionaries who are hell-bent to prevent the full liberation of black South Africans, and to destroy the ANC. The MKMVA NEC delegation shared with President Zuma that, as much as we appreciate the establishment of the Presidential Task Team on Military Veterans, it is now urgent to implement the resolutions on addressing the plight of military veterans that have been taken long ago, and that were agreed to once again in the Task Team.

“MKMVA is concerned that the Task Team is not moving with enough determination and urgency. The situation of our members is dire, and many of them die destitute and as paupers. The time for delaying and dilly-dallying about this is truly over. President Zuma shared our concern. He talked with much pain about how heavily it weighs on him to see the suffering of his fellow comrades in arms, and urged us to make this a matter of the utmost priority.

“President Zuma was very clear, and we as MKMVA fully concur with him, that those within the ANC who want to destroy the ANC must at all cost be prevented from doing so. We also concurred with President Zuma, that the members of MKMVA, who as ex-combatants of MK are the sharp edge of the spear of the ANC, have a historical and critical task to prevent them from doing so, and to protect and save the ANC. In this context the MKMVA NEC lauded President Zuma for his strong principled stance not to further attend the hearings of the Zondo Commission, and to stand up to the extraordinary ruling of the Constitutional Court that took his fundamental constitutional right away from him, to remain silent and not to incriminate himself.

“President Zuma further expanded to our delegation about his reasons, which only once again confirmed us that this is a carefully considered decision, well deserving of our support It is absolutely shocking that the Constitutional Court, as our apex court, in the pathological pursuit of President Zuma issued a judgement that compromised the foundational principles of our Constitution and criminal law system.

“The fact that it was done by the Constitutional Court does not make it any more acceptable, it is in fact all the more shocking and serious. The Constitutional Court, as the apex court, is the ultimate authority for setting legal precedents, and establishing case law.

“The judgement against President Zuma does not only set an extremely dangerous precedent of taking a fundamental right away from him alone, but it also establishes an even more dangerous and general precedent by taking this fundamental right away from all of us. As a consequence any citizen can, in fact, now be told that one does not have the right to remain silent. Thus, a basic constitutional right of every citizen has been compromised in a fundamental way.

“President Zuma, once again, in no uncertain manner emphasised to us that he has made up his mind, and that he will most definitely not attend the Zondo Commission. He explained in detail, and with strong conviction that he is duty bound in terms of his own conscience not to deviate from the decision that he had taken, because he cannot be party to allowing our Constitution from being undermined, and ultimately destroyed. The MKMVA NEC fully concurred with President Zuma, and pledged our unequivocal and full support.”

The statement said the MKMVA NEC members have undertaken to explain to ANC branch members, and the broad masses of people in our country, that there is not only one side to the story – “as most of the main stream media are trying to attack and misrepresent the reasons for President Zuma’s decision - but that strong ethical and revolutionary principles inform his decision”.

“MKMVA will also invite President Zuma to deliver the inaugural lecture of a series of lectures that we will be holding throughout this year as part of our celebrations for the 60th Anniversary of the formation of MK. MKMVA will ensure that this lecture will be given prominence throughout our country, and worldwide, and will be broadcasted on all social media and mainstream media platforms. It is high time that President Zuma must be given the opportunity to speak to our nation.”

“In conclusion MKMVA wants to reiterate our now - often repeated - warning that it will reckless, and foolhardiness of the highest order, for any attempt to arrest President Zuma to proceed. As trained soldiers we have the tools of analysis that indicate to us that this will lead to massive instability, that will not be in the interest of our country, or the African National Congress. MKMVA furthermore reiterates that we will do everything within our means to prevent President Zuma from being arrested, and to protect him.”

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