The MKVA had a media briefing at the KZN ANC provincial offices on the recent political developments including calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi
Durban - The MK Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) in KwaZulu-Natal has promised to send 600 of its “combat-ready” members to Luthuli House in Johannesburg to defend the ANC headquarters against what it calls enemy forces.

While refusing to divulge whether these members will be armed, provincial chairperson Themba Mavundla said they would do everything in their power, including laying down their lives, to defend the ANC and its president.

“We are soldiers, we are not karatekas. We know only one thing,” he said when asked how the MKMVA planned to defend the ANC.

The statement was a response to earlier plans by the DA to march to the ANC headquarters to put pressure on President Jacob Zuma to resign. The march to Luthuli House, however, was later cancelled.

Mavundla said any march to Luthuli House would be an act of provocation. “As much as we detest the DA, we have never marched to their offices. If they want to come to Luthuli House they must come but they should know it will not be nice,” Mavundla warned.

The staunch Zuma supporters said: “To destroy the ANC you must attack its head, so President Zuma is a strategic hill. The real target is the ANC.”

The military veterans also took aim at some ANC members and leaders who have publicly voiced their dissatisfaction with Zuma, saying these members had become “unpaid supporters of the enemy forces”.

“We were shocked when our comrades took over the programme of the DA of wanting to divide, destroy and annihilate our time-tested movement. They literally sold their souls.”

Mavundla would not say whether they felt some sanctions should be taken against these members. He said the MKMVA had faith in the internal processes of the ANC.

Durban mayor Zandile Gumede has warned those planning “uncalled for” protest marches against Zuma to protest legally or face the full might of the law.

Protests led by opposition parties and civil society calling for Zuma to resign are expected in Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Friday.

Gumede, a known Zuma ally, discouraged people from participating. She said members of the public should remember they had elected the president to run the country.

She was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the African Forum on Urban Safety at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Gumede expressed frustration with the growing public anger directed at Zuma, saying he was doing his job.

“It is strange that people are complaining that President Zuma reshuffled his cabinet. He is the president and we elected him to lead. Now that he has taken this decision, people are complaining."

Gumede said the Standard and Poor’s downgrade was a minor challenge that the country would overcome by working together.

South Africa was warned last year that any political instability could result in a downgrade.

There are growing fears that investors could pull their money out of the country if other rating agencies reach the same conclusion as S&P.

“We should come together as South Africans and work to put the country back to the status it was on before the downgrade. We must remember that this is our country,” said Gumede.

The Mercury