Former deputy minister of defence Kebby Maphatsoe. Photo: Phando Jikelo/ANA
Former deputy minister of defence Kebby Maphatsoe. Photo: Phando Jikelo/ANA

MKMVA leader Kebby Maphatsoe has died

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Aug 31, 2021

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Former deputy minister of defence and military veterans and leader of the now-disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA), Kebby Maphatsoe, has died his family confirmed.

According to his brother Joseph Maphatsoe, the firebrand leader died early Tuesday afternoon at his home in Meyersdal near Alberton.

“I can confirm that Kebby has passed away. As we speak an undertaker is currently removing his body to a mortuary. His wife said around 10am this morning he was not well, she offered to take him to the clinic but he said let him wait for the afternoon. This was a matter of having hiccups. When we arrived around 12 he had passed on,” said Joseph.

Maphatsoe previously served as the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, a position he was appointed to on 26 May 2014.

He was also the National Chairperson of the military veterans of uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) and also dabbled in politics from a young age when he joined the Congress of South African Student and also served as well as a member of the South African Youth Congress.

According to government records, during the Apartheid era, Maphatsoe went to exile and was trained as a Political Commissar of MK.

He is also said to have received further training in Angola and in the Soviet Union and was also exiled in Uganda before returning to South Africa.

Known to be controversial, Maphatsoe's political career has also seen him leading the ANC Greater Joburg Zone 7 where he served as zonal treasurer.

"During his tenure, the Ministry of Defence was changed to Defence and Military Veterans to accommodate military veterans, and to form a department separate from the Department of Defence with its own budget and administration.

“Under his leadership, the South African National Military Veterans Association was re-launched and he was elected the president; this led to the unification of all military veteran structures," a note from GCIS reads.

Political Bureau

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