Johannesburg - The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association's (MKMVA) Gauteng branches will back President Jacob Zuma for a second term, despite pronouncements by its provincial executive that it would remain neutral.
“In our engagement from branches, regional executive committee (REC) meetings... and interaction with other MKMVA regions within Gauteng we have unanimously agreed that we are fully behind comrade Jacob Zuma,” Ekurhuleni MKMVA secretary Bafana Mahlale told reporters in Germiston on Tuesday.
“Our approach is that of unity, continuity and change, which we believe is the most scientific way to ensure a stable ANC.”
He said the announcement by the MKMVA's provincial executive committee, made at the Gauteng African National Congress's provincial general council on Sunday, to be “neutral active”, was disturbing.
“This is a very strange concept and it's not mandated by us as regions and therefore it's not an official position of the MKMVA in Gauteng.”
The Gauteng ANC announced at the council that its preferred candidate for president was Zuma's deputy Kgalema Motlanthe.
The branches' preferred candidate list retained Zuma as president, Motlanthe as deputy president, Baleka Mbete as national chair, and Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general.
Jessie Duarte was named for the position of deputy secretary general. Deputy Correctional Services Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi was listed to replace treasurer Mathews Phosa.
Mahlale said the list was accepted by all the MKMVA's Gauteng regions.
He said the regions had decided that Phosa had erred by coming out in support of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, despite the mandate that the NEC would accept the sanctions.
The regions supported the development at Zuma's Nkandla homestead, saying it was a normal thing for a president to do, and that recent media reports about it were a form of “character assassination”. - Sapa