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Mabuza to meet military veterans demanding government jobs, millions in gratuity payments

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Mabuza to meet military veterans demanding government jobs, millions in gratuity payments

Deputy President David Mabuza
Deputy President David Mabuza

14th October 2021

By: News24Wire

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Deputy President David Mabuza is expected to meet with military veterans who have been camping outside the African National Congress's (ANC's) Luthuli House in Johannesburg for the past few days, demanding millions in gratuity payments.

They were expected to meet on Thursday afternoon.

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The veterans are demanding a gratuity payment of R4.2-million each from the government for their service in the struggle. They said they fought in exile during apartheid but were now struggling to survive.

The veterans belonged to an organisation called Liberation Struggle War Veterans (LSWV), which was based in all nine provinces, said spokesperson Lwazi Mzobe.

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Mzobe said they have about 40 000 members.

The members placed their hardship at the ANC and the government's doorstep, with Mzobe saying they had yet to receive reparations for their sacrifice for fighting in exile during apartheid.

The group's reparation demands include a once-off gratuity payment of R4.2-million for each struggle veteran, land for housing, and education. It also asked that jobs in government be reserved for them.

The group also demanded the disbandment of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans because it had failed to serve the needs of veterans, according to Mzobe.

"We sacrificed our youth and our careers, we sacrificed everything, and that cannot be calculated. We thought this amount can help us to survive as military veterans. We want job placement and to be integrated into the economy and not to be beggars on welfare. We want to earn our means," Mzobe told News24.

The LSWV said it also represented deceased veterans.

Mzobe said reparations for those who had died would need to be paid to their families.

The organisation's demands were first brought to the government's attention when its members marched to the Union Buildings in November 2020.

President Cyril Ramaphosa tasked Mabuza with leading a task team to look into the issues raised by the veterans.

Mzobe said a year later the government had failed to outline when they would be paid reparations. He said he hoped Thursday's meeting will shed some light on what the government planned to do.

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