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MKMVA in a bid to invalidate Unity conference

MKMVA national spokesperson Carl Niehaus Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

MKMVA national spokesperson Carl Niehaus Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 23, 2022

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JOHANNESBURG – Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is proceeding to lodge an urgent application interdict with the High Court for the All Inclusive MK Unity Conference to be declared null and void.

MKMVA national spokesperson Carl Niehaus said they sought for the conference and all the decisions taken from it to be nullified, including the interim committee that had been nominated and appointed.

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“We are proceeding immediately with that process,” Niehaus said.

Over the weekend MKMVA served the ANC with an urgent letter of demand seeking that the conference which was held in East London Eastern Cape from April 27 until May 1, be declared null and void.

Niehaus said the deadline for that letter was Monday and on Sunday evening the ANC’s legal advisor replied.

“The reply letter is unsatisfactory, it does not meet our letter of demand,” Niehaus said.

He said MKMVA could never have been disbanded by the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) because it is an autonomous independent organisation with its own constitution.

Niehaus said the ANC NEC had received a legal opinion on the matter on whether they could disband the MKMVA and the legal opinion said they could not.

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He said that included the legal opinion of attorney Krish Naidoo, who has now responded to their letter on behalf of ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile. (The Star has a copy of the letter).

“Naidoo has now written us a letter on behalf of Mashatile saying that MKMVA was not officially participating in the conference obviously because they work from the wrong presumption that the MKMVA had been disbanded. MKMVA had never been disbanded. The unity conference that the MKMVA participated collapsed the moment when MKMVA delegates officially withdrew from the conference and lodged a dispute, at that moment the conference collapsed,” Niehaus said.

Niehaus said the attempts by the ANC NEC to unilaterally disband MKMVA was always blatantly illegal and unconstitutional.

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Naidoo confirmed that they had received the letter addressed to the office of the secretary-general of the ANC and that it had been handed to him for attention and reply.

“At the outset, we must point out that the all-inclusive Umkhonto We Sizwe MK Unity Conference in East London was attended by 570 MK military veterans, representing all seven detachments constituting the various epochs of MK in its 60-year history.

However, there is no record of your client having attended the conference. The ANC is aware that some delegates walked out of the conference on the fourth day. Since then, the ANC has had two engagements with those who walked out and some of their concerns were addressed,” Naidoo said in the letter.

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Naidoo further said: “In the spirit of achieving unity and to reinforce the view of President Cyril Ramaphosa that the MK Liberation War Veterans should reach out to those delegates who walked out, it is proposed that a further meeting be held with your client in order to address any further issues that preclude them from marching forward with the MK Liberation War Veterans as a single group.

“For the record, the MK Liberation War Veterans held its inaugural meeting in Johannesburg this weekend and elected its national office bearers who will lead the interim National Steering Committee over the next two years.”

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The Star

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