Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

MKMVA ready to join the Covid-19 fight as volunteers in KZN

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Apr 1, 2020

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Durban - The Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in KZN says it is ready to hit the streets to provide support to essential workers involved in the Covid-19 fight as volunteers.

The former military wing of the ruling ANC says as “freedom fighters” they cannot remain silent as the pandemic spreads across the country. The virus has claimed the lives of five people in the country and has infected more than 1300 people - the most on the African continent. 

The MKMVA says it is ready to lend a helping hand as volunteers should they get the necessary green light from government. 

The MKMVA said it could provide up to 5000 people with military and first aid skills. 

The MKMVA's commissar in KZN, Manzolwandle Hadebe, said they were willing to assist with assisting pensioners at pay points as well as distributing pamphlets carrying government’s message about the pandemic. 

“If you go to pension pay point you will find old people in long queues, some of them could collapse because they are diabetic and that is where we can come in to help.

"These essential workers are not enough to cover the whole country and us as MKMVA can join the fight to relieve them by doing light work. 

"We can also help in raising awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic, we can also take over the distribution of Covid-19 pamphlets from them so that they can do other tasks so that the fight can be fast-tracked,” Hadebe said. 

Hadebe said while the initiative is currently being proposed in KZN, they would also like to see their counterparts in other provinces standing up as well and joining since it was affecting the whole country.

The MKMVA said it did not want to join the army and the police in enforcing compliance on the streets. Hadebe said they did not want to crowd that space as the constitution only allows statutory security forces to do that.

Hadebe said they could not patrol the streets and get involved in roadblock operations as they did not have the necessary arms. He said they were ready to work if the SANDF or the police calls them to join the fights as a back force that will work with them.

"It would be very difficult for us to find ourselves patrolling the streets because we are not armed and there are other bodies tasked with that. So, that should be left to the law enforcement agencies of the state. 

"Unless, unless we are requested by the law enforcement agencies to reinforce during this period but in general our focus, for now, is how can we assist with the little resources we have to save the people.”

Political Bureau

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