The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) held a press conference at Luthuli House on Monday. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo/IOL
Johannesburg - The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) on Monday confirmed it would lay a complaint against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu over their conduct. 

This was revealed at a media briefing held by the MKMVA leadership following its National Working Committee's meeting.

Ramaphosa and Sisulu were criticised for addressing the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) National Council's conference, held in Joburg over the weekend.

Ramaphosa addressed the conference, telling delegates that he was told not to speak at the conference as that would deem him "factional".

''I was told, 'deputy president, by going to the MK council conference you would be seen as factional'. My response was that I have never been factional in my life. I became a member and leader in various formations from Cosatu [Congress of South African Trade Unions] right through to the time I was elected secretary general [of the African National Congress]. 

"I have always known and understood that the task of a leader is to unite various views of the movement they lead and I see that as my abiding task,'' Ramaphosa said.

Maphatsoe on Monday told reporters that the association was disturbed to learn that Sisulu and Ramaphosa had attended the "illegitimate" conference.

"As senior members of the NEC - in the instance of Ramaphosa being the second most senior official of the ANC- they should know better.

"They are fully aware of the NEC processes that we explained. In fact, as members of the NEC, they are party to the steps that had been decided on to process the MK Council complaint."

Maphatsoe also slammed the MK council's conduct, saying it was on a political drive to "destroy the MKMVA, take over or put it in the service of alien political ideals".

He added that MKMVA leadership had tried to engage with the council in an attempt to bring about unity between the two, to no avail.

Divisions and factionalism within the ANC have seen the former soldiers splitting into two groups - the MKMVA and the MK council. The MK council is led by a steering committee consisting of former combatants, including Deputy Justice and Correctional Services Minister Thabang Makwetla and former MK chief of staff and former South African National Defence Force (SANDF) chief Siphiwe Nyanda. 

President Jacob Zuma's staunch supporter Kebby Maphatsoe, who had chaired the MKMVA, was elected its president at a conference in June.