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MKMVA Provincial Chairperson John Ngobeni addresses the media at ANC provincial headquarters in Polokwane. Joining him are MKMVA Provincial Secretary Lulamile Jack (right) and MKMVA PEC member Carol Matsi.

Battle for MK dominance


There is talk of war as flying embers in a brewing battle point at former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) soldiers in the province allegedly being prepared for combat against Limpopo-based members of so-called splinter formation MK Council, who are accused of wanting to infiltrate the African National Congress (ANC) through its affiliated military veterans’ association with the aim of targeting the party’s president.
If MK Council members in Limpopo were to take up guns, members of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) would not hesitate to defend themselves against them, assured a source from within the ranks of the MKMVA in the province. He sketched the background to happenings that played out during last weekend’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting of MKMVA when an MK Council member, who also serves on the provincial executive of MKMVA, allegedly threatened to shoot one of the members present when exiting the gathering amid a rowdy ruckus. “We are not going to throw with sponges if they are throwing stones.”
The cadre spoke on condition of anonymity in the wake of a presser at the ANC’s Frans Mohlala House in Polokwane last week that was addressed by MKMVA Provincial Chairperson John Ngobeni and Provincial Secretary Lulamile Jack, who highlighted the presence of an element of mutiny coming up in the form of MK Council “which seeks to undermine this association and with an intention to overthrow the ANC and remove the President of the ANC”. A battle for dominance in the name of the structure representing the ANC’s then armed military wing has apparently continued for years now. Lately it mutated into a renewed form of war-mongering aimed at a bigger take-over through regions and provinces of the MKMVA and ANC Veterans’ League, it was learnt. Battle lines were initially drawn when a grouping of ex-fighters who were in exile considered themselves more superior to fellow-soldiers who remained in the country to defend it against white minority rule, the source said.
Taking the media through past events Ngobeni referred to members of the MK Council who boycotted the 50th anniversary of MK five years ago but gathered for an event called by a former fighter identified as an ex-member of the Limpopo Legislature “and the likes of Julius Malema in Seshego Zone 1, where Malema was born”. He continued saying the same comrades subsequently formed South Africa First, which dismally failed to exist as a party “because the people of this country can’t be fooled by greedy surrogates who disguise as super freedom fighters”.