By: Staff Reporter
JOHANNESBURG- The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has on Sunday said it intends to find a balance between two truths, in addressing the unwarrented and grossly insulting attacks that were directed at us by Mavuso Msimang, when he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Africa (UNISA).
The movement said the callousness of those who do not care about their fellow comrades should not be rewarded with giving them more attention than what they deserve. However, nor should their insults and uncomradely behavior go unchallenged.
According to the MKMVA, Mavuso Msimang, who was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), in the comfort and luxury of someone who has arrived in a well-heeled position of material well-being, has apparently developed a deep seated disdain and hatred for his fellow MK comrades, who are less fortunate than him. He sees it fit to call his comrades who are pleading for decent housing, jobs, health care and education for their children “clowns and idiots”, and tells President Ramaphosa to ignore us.
“That President Thabo Mbeki, who really should know better – instead of admonishing and correcting Msimang – saw it fit to concur with such callousness, will in future haunt him as an indelible blemish on his legacy. Their conduct says more about themselves – and how far their positions of priviledge have removed them from their ertswhile comrades and the suffering majority of poor in our country – than about us. We sincerely hope that President Mbeki will realise that he has badly erred by following Msimang’s lead, and will find the humility in himself to apologise to his fellow MKMVA comrades”, the MKMVA said.
“Sadly, these erstwhile revolutionaries have become a self-congratulating elite who bestows honorary degrees, and other accolades, on each other. Instead of using such ‘honors’ to advance the cause of our revolution, and show care for their fellow comrades, they wallow in the aggrandizing of themselves as the egoistic individuals that they have become, in total contradiction of our collective revolution that shaped them, and to which they actually owe everything. They have become users and abusers of their own people and comrades, in betrayal of their very own revolutionary past.
“We would like to remind Msimang that MKMVA was established with the full support of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC, in order to protect the rich liberation struggle legacy of MK, and to ensure that ex-MK combatants receive the recognition and care that we deserve as liberation fighters, who have made an undeniably huge contribution to the liberation of our country”.
Furthermore, the movement added: “Unlike Msimang, we have never organized and marched for the removal of a sitting President of the ANC. Nor have we been members of a reactionary and factional group, such as the so-called ‘101 Veterans’, who openly made common cause with enemies of the ANC, and of the liberation of black (especially African) South Africans, such as the ‘Save South Africa’ campaigners.
“Instead we have continued to be loyal members of the African National Congress (ANC), and we continued to work for unity in the ANC, and to defend the integrity and objectives of our liberation struggle. This we did despite the disregard, and wanton neglect, that we suffered at the hands of those such as Mavuso Msimang, and even President Thabo Mbeki himself.
“When the 5000 delegates at the 54th National Conference of the ANC in 2017 resolved that unity must be brought about in the ranks of ex-MK combatants, we as disciplined caders diligently participated in the unity process under the auspices of the Peace and Stability Sub-Committee of the NEC of the ANC. The fact that we are now on the verge of holding a Unity Conference is solely due to the loyalty and discipline of MKMVA. It is our ardent hope that the NEC of the ANC will continue to support this unity process, also in recognition of the constructive role of MKMVA, and will ensure that the legitimate demands of ex-MK combatants for dignity, and addressing our legitimate needs, will be honored”, said the movement.
As claimed by the movement, the reason for the formation of MKMVA was always to address the plight of ex-MK combatants, who have never received the support and recognition that we deserve. “Most of our members have been relegated to dire poverty, many of them without adequate housing, healthcare, or any means to take care of their families. Our loyalty and discipline can never mean that we must stop demanding that our legitimate demands should be addressed. The marches and protest actions by our MKMVA members are exactly in pursuit of these demands.
“Many of our members are of advanced age, and they die in squalor and dire poverty. As a responsible and caring Association, MKMVA simply cannot stand idly by and allow this to happen. To do so would be the most horrible beytrayal of our own, and treason to the liberation ideals that we have dedicated our lives to.
“The fact that many of the legitimate demands of our long suffering ex-MK combatants coincide, and can only be adequately addressed, when the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the ANC are implimented, give them particular political importance and poignancy for us as MKMVA caders. Thus, when we continue to call for the full implementation of all the Resolutions of the 54th National Conference, we are also in a very real sense calling for our own legitimate needs and demands to be addressed. This is the overal socio-economic and political context within which the programmes and marches of MKMVA must be understood”.
“The fact that the likes of Mavuso Msimang is incapable of such understanding from the ivory tower of privilege that he elevated and isolated himself to, only confirms to us that he has joined the ranks of reactionaries who no longer care for our revolution. Our revolutionary call to President Ramaphosa is not to heed Msimang’s short-sighted, and ill-concieved, advice to ignore the plight of our MKMVA members. His disdain for our MK combat uniform (which we wear with pride as a remembrance of our hard fought for position as liberation soldiers), as well as his historically incorrect statement that MK was disbanded in 1991, while MK was actually only officially disbanded on the 16th of December 1993, all indicate how far he has drifted away from his own erstwhile revolutionary roots,” this is according to the MKMVA.
“As revolutionaries we know that every revolution generarates reactionary counter-forces. However, as liberation soldiers we will not allow ourselves to be diverted from the revolutionary cause that we have dedicated our lives to.
“MKMVA can be despized, called names and abused, but we will remain disciplined members of the African National Congress. As such we will continue to pursue principled unity, and the objectives of the Freedom Charter as the apex guiding document of our Liberation Movement, supported and strengthened by the RET Resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the ANC. Nor will we allow the legitimate rights of our members to be denied and trampled on.”
“In short, as the fighting Spear of our Nation, that we have always been, we will continue to fight for the ideals and integrity of our revolution. The likes of Mavuso Msimang, and his ilk, will never succeed in diverting us from our destiny in persuance of the full liberation of every black (especially African) South African”, the MKMVA said.