The uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) elective conference at which Kebby Maphatsoe was elected as chair was fraudulent, the MK Council said.
The MK Council said it had proof that individuals who are not members of the MKMVA attended and voted during the elective conference that was held in June. The MK Council held a press briefing at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia on Monday where it announced that it was postponing its conference.
The conference, which was to be held in September, was postponed to October 6 to 8 to allow the African National Congress's (ANC's) national executive committee (NEC) to evaluate evidence of alleged fraud during the MKMVA's elective conference, former MK general and MK veteran’s steering committee member Siphiwe Nyanda said.
Nyanda said: "This is the reason why we have postponed until October, so that the NEC can look into all these things like that conference that Kebby conducted. The ANC NEC must express itself on those. Only then will we have our all-inclusive conference."
"We have in our possession information that we have shared with the minister of defense and military veterans [Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula] and the secretary-general of the ANC [Gwede Mantashe]; evidence to the effect that [the] conference [was] fraudulent," MKMVA NEC member Ike Moroe said.
Moroe said that 60% of those who attended the conference at which Maphatsoe, who is also Mapisa-Nqakula's deputy, was elected were not bona fide veterans.
"Almost 20% are members of battalion 22 and former SANDF [South African National Defence Force]. They had nothing to do with conference, they are not part of MKMVA."
In response, Maphatsoe said that the MK Council was trying to run a parallel structure independent of the MKMVA. Defending the conference's legitimacy, he said the ANC's NEC had appointed ten of its members to oversee the elective process.
'We are not enemies, we are comrades'
"The Department of Defence and Military Veterans could not have funded the conference if it was not satisfied that the people attending were not part of the MKMVA. If they [the council] had a problem they should have immediately interdicted the conference. They say they are organising an all-inclusive conference, but where do they get their mandate from? We submitted our report to the ANC and it was satisfied. We have been saying come with bona fide proof. We are not enemies, we are comrades," Maphatsoe said.
Nyanda said the MKMVA was facing challenges including disunity and factionalism, leaving former combatants to suffer as their plight is neglected.
"These challenges have led to the legitimacy of the organisation being brought into question and the leadership disputed for not representing the interest of its members," he added.
Issues that will come under the microscope during the council's conference include a critique of the mother body's organisational renewal discussion document as well as the re-engineering of the MKMVA, including its constitution.