The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe says the organisation’s spokesman, Carl Niehaus, does not represent it in his support for the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) forces.
Niehaus is part of the Gauteng RET President [Jacob] Zuma Support Group which has been rallying behind the former president and politician Andile Lungisa amid their battles with the Constitutional Court.
Though Niehaus recently addressed a media briefing as a “secretary of the Gauteng RET President Zuma Support Group and also as the national spokesperson of MKMVA”, Maphatsoe told news anchor Xoli Mngambi on Newzroom Afrika on Sunday that he was not representing the organisation.
“MKMVA has never openly spoken about RET. Carl Niehaus was doing this thing outside the structures of MKMVA, it is not a position of MKMVA. The position of MKMVA is very clear that RET is a resolution of the 54th national conference and all members of the ANC must make sure that they understand, interpret and make sure the resolution is implemented,” said Maphatsoe.
“As MKMVA we don’t align ourselves with people calling themselves RET forces. Carl Niehaus doing this thing outside the structures, we discussed it in our NEC [meeting] and we’re very clear on that. If you do your things out there, you’ll account for them on your own. It’s not only Carl Niehaus, there are other few comrades within MKMVA and we made it very clear that ‘Carl, when you speak on behalf of the RET forces, the media says the spokesperson on MKMVA and it appears as if it is us, which is wrong’.”
Maphatsoe said the reason no action had been taken against Niehaus for his actions is because “we persuade comrades and advise them time again that ‘comrades, this is not in line with our movement’. We have been persuading all the comrades who are involved in that.”
Maphatsoe is challenging the decision taken by the national working committee to disband the MKMVA, saying the MKMVA leadership was not informed about it.
The MKMVA president has also questioned the processes that were followed towards making that decision.
“The meeting between me and acting [ANC] secretary-general Jessie Duarte was to inform me about the decisions of the peace and stability sub committee of the ANC and ultimately, the national working committee (NWC). The NWC has to recommend to the national working executive. The NEC is the one that will make that decision. We don’t accept the decision because it does not explain to us what happened to the process,” said Maphatsoe.
Watch the full interview below: