Protesting MKMVA members fuming after Makhura fails to accept memorandum
Johannesburg - Protesting members of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in Johannesburg were left angry on Monday morning after Premier David Makhura did not come out to listen to their grievances and accept their memorandum.
The MKMVA had embarked on a march on Makhura's office in Newtown where they were registering their complaints about the lack of socioeconomic transformation in the country and the continued neglect of former liberation combatants.
The group was however told by Makhura's advisor Mxolisi Xayiya that they could not see Makhura and that education MEC Panyaza Lesufi would listen to them and receive their memorandum instead if they did not want to give it to him, which they rejected.
Johannesburg MKMVA secretary Thanduxolo Dyodo accused Makhura of undermining their former combatants, adding that he had been aware of the march.
"If the Premier is not here it means that we are being undermined," Dyodo said.
Dyodo accused Makhura of testing the patience of the MKMVA members and of ignoring their continued plight.
"We are here as the MKMVA because our members stay under the bridge and eat in the dustbins whereas there are conference resolutions that say in provinces there must be directorates that deal with the plight of military veterans. In Gauteng we have a directorate that has only three people and which has one desk, " he said.
He said the provincial directorate was too incapacitated to deal with the issues faced by some 300 military veterans in the province.
" We are here to register our complaints and we are saying anytime we can make this province ungovernable. If our government cannot give us an ear, we will meet in the streets," he said.
Tensions arose between the MKMVA members and members of the SAPS and Johannesburg metro police who had a heavy presence at the precinct of Makhura's office.
While some MKMVA members called for the marchers to force their entry, Dyodo slammed the police for being too intrusive in their monitoring of their conversations.
"We are asking the police for space. We are not here with ill intentions. We are disciplined. This is our office," Dyodo said.
A scuffle broke out as some of the members of the MKMVA threatened Xayiya and ordered him to go back inside as it remained clear that Makhura was likely to come out.
The MKMVA was also send their memorandum to Luthuli House, the ANC's national headquarters.