Gregory Nthatisi
5 minute read
7 May 2021
7:17 pm

OP-ED: ‘We don’t know this General Motau,’ says MK National Council

Gregory Nthatisi

The MKNC says General Mojo Motau must prove his MK bona fides, or 'stay in his lane and not meddle in endeavours he evidently knows little about'.

The 58th anniversary of Umkhonto weSizwe at the Walter Sisulu Square on 16 December 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images/Laird Forbes

General Mojo Motau, former chief of military intelligence, has recently received attention from the media and, interestingly, from within the ANC leadership circles as well.

This is ostensibly because he is a former cadre of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) and a former member of MK Military Headquarters (MHQ), who is on a solitary mission to save the ANC from its demise. This is the weirdest and most recklessly opportunistic development ever since the ANC was unbanned in 1990.

While it is historically correct that during the struggle the majority of the ANC’s tested cadres were members of Umkhonto weSizwe, it is politically incorrect and naïve to suggest that ANC cadres are only those who were in the military wing as insinuated by Motau.

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The ANC fought the struggle on many fronts, as defined broadly by the four pillars of its strategy to overcome apartheid rule. In all these fronts cadres were honed and developed by the ANC to advance the struggle. This work equally produced sterling cadres of the ANC.

Motau may well be among those ANC members who were assigned important responsibilities by the ANC in exile. In that regard, he is better placed to speak for himself. However, the MK National Council (MKNC) wishes to place it on record that Motau was never a member of MK-MHQ before the suspension of the armed struggle in 1990.

In this regard, the ANC submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) provides all the relevant details of cadres who were deployed in its underground command structures in all countries where they were established.

In keeping with the principle of the National Council to insist that all MK members provide details of their backgrounds in order to curb cases of fraud, MK National Council publicly challenges Motau to provide information about where he underwent his military training, with who and under whose command, the detachment he belongs to, if he was trained internally, to indicate which machinery trained him and when.

Lastly, General Motau must provide us with his nom de guerre, i.e. his MK name.

As a matter of principle, and not a demand which seeks to single out Motau, the MKNC believes that the above protocol is the only way to ascertain the bona fides of all former members of Umkhonto weSizwe.

Motau did well to join the military after the unbanning of the ANC and the suspension of the armed struggle in 1990. He is a peace-time general, he must stay in his lane and not meddle in endeavours he evidently knows little about. He must enjoy his good pension and not destroy whatever credibility he may have by bringing the new democratic people’s defence establishment into disrepute.

The touchstone of the transformation of our defence establishment since 1994 is the civil-military relations doctrine, which the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) top brass is schooled in – to place South Africa’s military establishment under the political will and desires of South Africans.

Our country is at crossroads, this is crystallised by the titanic battles in our organisation, the ANC. This comes as no surprise to many who understand the challenges of transforming a society fraught with contradictions such as our country have.

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The pronounced fault lines of greed and corruption in the ANC today speaks to new challenges in our society. That Motau believes he can find solutions to ideological questions, policies, strategies and operational modalities which are so involved and wide ranging, over one sunny, Friday afternoon in Pretoria is blatantly arrogant and an insult.

Whereas Motau pretends to be inspired by the desire to see the preservation of the ANC, a careful reading of his declaration points to a nefarious plot to decimate the ANC. Two specific demands stands out in this respect.

The first is the suggestion that the most senior body or authority of the ANC between conferences must be dissolved without any suggestion on how that authority should be re-established. The second is the proposal that the organisation must plunge itself into internecine wars, confusion and anarchy by pointing out apartheid spies within the ANC.

Unassailable ANC leaders are spoken about in patronising terms and in a manner that isolates them from the broad membership, while those who are influential and serve to connect the organisation to the grassroots are vilified and demonised.

The perspective on how to deal with the national conjecture confronting us, as propagated by Motau, exposes the lack of the fundamental understanding that the masses are the makers of history.

The people must understand for themselves why things are wrong, and why we must all fight hard to change our way of doing business both in government and in the ANC for posterity. His commandist mentality, typical of militarism, unfortunately believes that you can effect societal solutions through orders from above.

This further corroborates our submission that Motau has no experience of Umkhonto wesizwe politico-military training, otherwise he would have had sight of the correct azimuth on this matter.

It has been our observation that since our democracy was ushered in 1994, moments of political uncertainty, anxiety and agitation have always been precipitated by documents churned out by the intelligence structures in government. Motau and those he is in cahoots with must not undermine our people’s intelligence and patience.

The MKNC calls on all our people, workers, youth and students, professionals, the churches, political parties, business leaders and civil society in general to step up to the plate, and exercise maximum vigilance.

Our constitutional order must be defended at all costs. No generals, quislings or benevolent militaries must be allowed to usurp our inalienable right to self-determination.

In our many political and social formations we must reclaim the right to develop our constitutional democracy and our country for posterity. The National Council can always be counted among those who occupy the front trenches.

We will not let them pass, victory or death!

Gregory Nthatisi is the acting general secretary of the MK National Council