Following the formation of a Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) counter group called the MK council ahead of the ANC’s 2017 elective conference, the party reportedly established a peace and stability sub-committee tasked with investigating divisions between members of the ANC’s former military wing.
The committee (which is led by Tony Yengeni who is a member of the MK Council) then recommended that the current MKMVA be disbanded and that leadership positions be filled using elections that give members from both factions an equal chance.
The ANC will make a decision based on the recommendation this coming weekend when the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meets to discuss and resolve a number of issues within the party.
Where did it all begin?
The council began in late 2016 with the aim of unifying the community of former MK members and has been at loggerheads with the MKMVA ever since.
In June 2017, the council slammed the association for holding what they called a “sham conference” as they believed it was convened in violation of some of the basic constitutional requirements governing MKMVA conferences after the MKMVA called the council immature for missing the party’s policy conference. The intention of the conference was for both parties to iron out their differences.
Led by former MK chief of staff and former SA National Defence Force (SANDF) chief Siphiwe Nyanda, the council has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the veterans association under its president Kebby Maphatsoe.
Maphatsoe was re-elected to lead the MKMVA at the conference in question and the party’s constitution was amended to change his position from chairperson to president.
The veterans association has repeatedly stated their opposition to the idea of disbandment and MKMVA NEC and national working committee member Mabel Rweqana asserted that the move is merely a power play by Nyanda and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla.
Rweqana said that the MKMVA would fight the decision to disband if the ANC’s NEC follows through with the subcommittee’s recommendation.
Maphatsoe echoed Rweqana’s sentiments while Yengeni refused to comment.