DURBAN - THE uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has fired a warning shot at the ANC leadership, warning the ruling party and its leaders “not to behave like dictators”.
The association said that if the ANC pushed it too far, “then hell will break loose”.
The MKMVA leadership spoke during its General Cadres Assembly on Sunday at the Booysens Hotel and Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe assured members that the association had not been disbanded. MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus said the association was going to fight for its existence.
“We will not accept to be thrown out from the so-called virtual meetings. Any attempt to disband the MKMVA will not fly as the association was ready to politically and legally defend itself. We don’t want to take the party to court but if the ANC pushes us we will have no choice but to take them to court,” said Niehaus.
“It is because of this association that today there is a Department of the Military Veterans. No senior of the ANC can disband the association. It is politically and legally wrong to even attempt to do away with the association.”
Clarifying their position on their call for Radical Economic Transformation (RET), he said that it was not factional to call for RET, stating that the association was doing what was directed to all members of the ANC and to ensure that RET policies were implemented.
“We are not identifying ourselves outside the ANC. We are doing everything by the book as directed to each member of the ANC,” said Niehaus.
Last week, the ANC national working committee issued a directive to disband the association after accusing it of being factional.
Before the collapse of a virtual meeting with ANC leaders, MKMVA leaders and rival MK National Council, the ruling party had informed the two groups that they were being collapsed and replaced by a preparatory committee that would help them hold a joint elective conference.
At the time, the MKMVA accused ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe of collapsing the meeting after the association demanded answers on what led to the decision to disband them.
Political analyst Professor Tumi Senokoane said the disbanding of the MKMVA was long predicted and overdue. He criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa for weakening the ANC.
“It has been been very clear that the ANC president and his faction are decisive in dealing with their opponents or those who are not with them.
“It is of course the right of the structure to challenge any decision that they think is inconsistent with the ANC constitution and the founding documents of MKMVA … the structure has a choice to follow the decision by ANC officials or challenge it in court and even to defy. But we have seen that Ramaphosa has succeeded in weakening anyone who defies him,” said Senokoane.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe had not responded to questions from the Daily News by the time of publication.