Johannesburg - The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has blasted ANC stalwarts who called for the protection of a senior party member from those who want the party's national executive committee (NEC) to expel him.
This comes after NEC member Derek Hanekom admitted last week that he had secret talks with the EFF in a bid to oust former president Jacob Zuma, which the ANC veterans said was acceptable.
This past weekend the veterans, including Cheryl Carolus, Sheila Sisulu, Murphy Morobe and Mavuso Msimang, wrote a letter to the ANC’s top six, calling on them to help block attacks on Hanekom amid calls for his expulsion from inside the NEC, which is concluding its four-day meeting in Irene, near Tshwane.
MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe on Sunday called for the veterans’ request to be rejected, accusing them of representing factions.
“Clearly, their intentions are blatantly factional. They have been part of the 101 veterans who called for the ousting of president Zuma,” he said.
Maphatsoe said Hanekom had to be expelled if he was found to have conspired with the EFF because this was against the ANC’s constitution.
“These allegations need to be investigated and if they are true he must not be treated with kid gloves. He must be punished.
“This person was the chairperson of the ANC’s disciplinary committee so there is no way he would have not known that it is wrong to plot with the opposition against the president of the ANC,” he said.
Zuma has also slammed Hanekom and accused him of being a “known enemy agent”.
The former ANC leader has previously been lambasted for making allegations at the Zondo commission that several senior party members, including former mineral resources minister Ngoako Ramathlodi and former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, were apartheid spies.
The veterans called for the NEC to rein Zuma in on his “preposterous” allegations.
“We strongly urge the NEC to call on all members not to make unsubstantiated accusations, especially when we all are aware of the potential consequences of irresponsibly labelling comrades as enemy agents and spies,” the group said.
They also described the attacks on Hanekom by Zuma’s backers, including ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, as ironic, as the two were being probed for helping form the African Transformation Movement, and Zuma for giving support to the BLF ahead of the last elections.