An intended march by members of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in Limpopo is expected to come with a warning tag for the ruling party to stop ignoring their plight and implement past resolutions pertaining to job creation and integration in government machinery. And with it to stop alleged corruption that is seemingly driving division in party ranks in the province.
It was learnt that the march is being planned to take place in due course, with a maximum of 200
MKMVA members in Limpopo expected to head to Premier Stan Mathabatha’s office with a memorandum containing their grievances.
MKMVA Provincial Secretary Lulamile Jack informed Polokwane Observer on Tuesday that they would revisit what government has failed to implement in terms of addressing the plight of their members, issues that had been presented to Mathabatha several times in the past without any of it having received attention. Among others they intended speaking to the issue of a 30% inclusion of small, medium and micro enterprises owned by or job opportunities for MKMVA members in the province as per resolutions taken during previous party conferences, he said and referenced the gatherings at the University of Limpopo in 2007 and at Nasrec in 2017.
He claimed they were not being taken seriously and that their members were being taken for granted while Mathabatha, who formerly served as an MK member, had thus far ignored the calls for assistance from cadres who were going to bed hungry amid their own government showing complete lack of commitment towards improving the lives of those who sacrificed for their country by fighting in the front lines of the liberation struggle. Jack reiterated that the ANC was taking for granted their votes and it was high time they respected that the members of MKMVA had liberated the country. “They turn you from a hero into a beggar. It is nothing but corruption. Now we are taking to the streets to highlight our plight.”
Limpopo was being regarded worse off in terms of implementing party resolutions to address the plight of former soldiers when compared to other provinces, he pointed out by adding that it was a situation that had been dragging on for the past 25 years.
To them the level of discipline in the ruling party and the state of the organisation were equally worrisome factors. He remarked that the leadership of the party in the province was silent on and not condemning what was happening around the attacks on ANC Provincial Secretary Soviet Lekganyane as was seen during a recent march unto Frans Mohlala House. He advised that disgruntled members who wanted to march over the VBS Bank saga had to direct their actions at the Department of Provincial Treasury instead and not the party’s provincial headquarters. If party members didn’t raise issues in the correct manner it would leave MKMVA no choice but to defend what they stood for, he stressed. “They mustn’t play in our space. Violence is our language. No one will attack the ANC offices or the secretary. We’ll be the first to arrive here in defence of the ANC. We’ll meet fire with fire if need be.”
He warned that if the culprits were not punished the ruling party in the province would be characterised by a state of anarchy and spoke of an already visible level of disorder in the party. By referring to foreign tendencies being displayed within ranks of the organisation, Jack raised the issue that it was attributed to alleged corruption and sharing of resources. “These people have resources to get people to march against the provincial secretary, hosting pre-parties and go on drinking sprees while the plight of our members is being ignored.”
The level of support to Lekganyane from within the provincial executive of the ANC seemed marginal and was seen to be linked to the VBS Bank matter as he was regarded as driver of an agenda to bring the culprits to book while the issue was being dealt with by the party’s Integrity Committee, he reckoned. “We become victims on our own because we’re supporting Soviet,” he said when adding that it was their duty to protect him as key figure and the structure that served as the party’s quarters in Limpopo.
He concluded with the warning that the ANC shouldn’t undermine their votes. “We want to test the ANC now. Our plight is very serious.”
ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) spokesperson Donald Selamolela responded saying the organisation didn’t underestimate the concerns of MKMVA, that they would appreciate engaging with them on it and would find a way to do so because they were an integral part of the movement.
Story/photo: YOLANDE NEL