MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe File picture Dumisani Sibeko/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) said on Monday that it will not attend the 14th National Congress of the South African Communist Party (SACP) despite being invited. 

The SACP, which has become vocal and critical about its dissatisfaction of President Jacob Zuma's leadership, is holding its national congress this week. The communist party has also been calling Zuma to step down and has deemed him unfit to lead.

"The MKMVA acknowledges with gratitude the invitation that we have received to participate in the 14th National Congress of the South African Communist Party (SACP). After careful consideration MKMVA has, however, decided not to attend the SACP National Congress," MKMVA chairperson, Kebby Maphatsoe, said in a statement.

SACP is part of a political tripartite alliance made up of the African National Congress (ANC) and Congress of South African Unions (Cosatu).

"The current unfortunate path that the SACP has taken to disregard the well-established tradition that alliance partners do no prescribe to each other about internal organisational matters by trying to prescribe to the ANC about who should be it's president, is not conducive for our attendance," said Maphatsoe.

The week-long SACP national congress is expected to elect new leadership for the next five-year term, and also decide whether to contest elections for the first time as a stand-alone party.

Both SACP and Cosatu have barred Zuma from attending their meetings.
"MKMVA values the tripartite alliance, but we believe that it is critical for the SACP and Cosatu to return to the fundamentals that made the alliance such a great success and formidable force in our liberation struggle," said Maphatsoe.