The Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) council is “immature” for deciding to boycott the African National Congress’s (ANC's) policy conference, the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) said on Thursday.
“We admonish the MK national council’s position as immature regarding its announcement that it would boycott the national policy conference of the ANC,” the MKMVA said in a statement on Thursday.
The council, which consists of former MK generals and commissars, announced this week that it would not take part in the ruling party's policy conference later in June. Nor would it take part in the MKMVA’s own conference, which would start in Boksburg on Friday.
The ANC’s conference was merely a costly distraction, former MK and South African National Defence Force head, General Siphiwe Nyanda told reporters at Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia on Tuesday.
The council was formed in 2016 by former MK generals and commissars concerned with the political direction of the MKMVA, led by Kebby Maphatsoe. It is not an officially recognised ANC structure.
The MKMVA said a large number of veterans aligned with the MK council would not have any representation at the MKMVA conference.
The veterans said they had it on good authority that about 60% of the more than 700 delegates that were registered on Wednesday were not bona fide MK military veterans. The conference could thus not be considered a constitutional gathering of the MKMVA with the power to elect new leaders.
“Therefore we wish to disassociate ourselves with that gathering, and believe that many who share the wish and hope of the unity of MK military veterans and the ANC and its alliance do the same.”
The MKMVA was disappointed with the ANC leadership’s decision to allow the conference to take place amidst a “cloud of wrongdoing”.
“We hold strongly that our unity is of critical importance and that ANC differences must be discussed frankly within the ANC.”