Kebby Maphatsoe was not an enemy agent – Minister Ayanda Dlodlo
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Johannesburg - Former uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe was not an enemy agent but a loyal freedom fighter.
These views were expressed by members of uMKhonto weSizwe’s freedom fighters who spent time with Maphatsoe in exile at the military camps in Angola and Uganda during the fight against apartheid.
Maphatsoe’s funeral was held in Protea Glen, Soweto, on Sunday.
However, at the time of his death on August 31 last week, rumours were still milling around that Maphatsoe ran away from a military camp in Uganda and some of his fellow freedom fighters had to shoot him, which led to him losing the use of his arm.
But speakers such as Ayanda Makokomane dispelled such rumours and bemoaned the fact that Maphatsoe died while still tainted.
The allegations were also rubbished by Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayandlo Dlodlo, who co-founded MKMVA with Maphatsoe.
Dlodlo told mourners how they painstakingly founded MKMVA at Shaft 17 at Crown Mines with the view to improve the lives of all non-statutory forces in South Africa.
She said it was through Maphatsoe that led the government agreeing to have a Ministry of Military Veterans in the government.
Despite the demeaning rumours others speakers, such as former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, told mourners that Maphatsoe died still feeling aggrieved about the jailing of former ANC president Jacob Zuma.
It was Maphatsoe’s son who kept the mourners in stitches when he related his father’s love for religious song especially after consuming “revolutionary waters”.
One of them is Emmanuel. Ironically, Emmanuel is Kebby’s first name and appeared on his identity document.
But according to Thabiso his father had an attachment to the Emmanuel song “especially after consuming revolutionary waters”.
“He would always instruct me to repeat the song,” Thabiso remembered.
He told mourners that he played the song for his father on August 28 – it was a Saturday, he said.
Relating their view that his father had a premonition, Thabiso said: “While the song was playing, my father said: ’Please release me. It is my time to go’. I think he knew his time was coming. He was a soldier.
“He taught me a lot of things. He made me politically aware,” Thabiso said.
He confirmed that his father died a bitter man after suffering accusations that he ran away from MK’s military camp and was an enemy agent.
Elder brother Pastor Joe Maphatsoe had also earlier echoed the same sentiments.
Maphatsoe told the mourners that his brother told his wife Lerato on August 30 the names of people who must address mourners at his funeral. The names included ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe; former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Dlodlo.
Mahumapelo told the mourners about his last conversation with Maphatsoe on August 28 and among the issues of concern to him was the jailing of Zuma.
He said Maphatsoe gave him eight commands to follow and one of them was that his “comrades” must never allow people to be jailed again without trial, like Zuma.
“He is hurt by people being jailed without trial. He said those things should never happen again in a democracy. It was done during apartheid,” Mahumapelo said.
But according to Mahumapelo, Maphatsoe’s first command to him was that they should ensure that they must do everything possible to “concretise” the unity process of MKMVA and uMkhonto weSizwe National Command Council.
The two rival ANC military veterans groupings were disbanded in July to allow it to have a national conference ahead of its 60th birthday on December 16 this year.
Mahumapelo also said Maphatsoe had tasked him to speak with other military veterans such as Leon Mkhabela who are reportedly opposed to the disbanding of MKMVA.
He also lodged a veiled attack on Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula who had, in the past, levelled corruption allegations against Maphatsoe.
The turf between Mbalula and Maphatsoe had split after the minister terminated several security contracts at Prasa and some of them were allegedly linked to Maphatsoe.
Mahumapelo said Maphatsoe was hurt by these allegations, saying no charges were laid against him.