The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has slammed the SA Council of Churches (SACC) and its general secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, for involvement in ANC factional politics and support of certain groups in the governing party.
This follows the SACC’s statement this week expressing concern over the rule of law in the country after former president Jacob Zuma defied a Constitutional Court order in February to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
The organisation also criticised the presence of MK veterans posted outside Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, saying the “paramilitary guard” had no legal status and was “treading in the domain of lawlessness”.
Mpumlwana, in an interview with Newzroom Afrika, compared the MKMVA to the proliferation of right-wing paramilitary formations in the country. MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus issued a scathing statement on Wednesday calling on the SACC to desist from its “very biased and factional attacks” against Zuma.
“You cannot have a guard that is posted with military uniforms that is not regulated, which is what is happening there… it opens the way to all kinds of lawless formations being formed,” Mpumlwana told the channel.
Niehaus has taken a swipe at the SACC, saying the organisation had moved away from being the “prophetic voice about the plight of the poor” it had been known for and was now “too prepared to get involved in factional politicking”.
“If the SACC now wants to become a party political player, may we suggest that the clergy strip off their robes and collars. They will find us more than ready to engage with them as ordinary (not divine) mortals in the rough and tumble of politics,” Niehaus said.
“Bishop Mpumlwana and his ilk must desist from trying to present and bless their rather commonplace political interventions as if divine and of a moral/ethical higher order. That is nothing but hypocrisy!”
Niehaus called on Mpumlwana and the SACC to desist from presenting their “attacks” against Zuma as “imbued by some higher morality and divine right to pass judgment”.
“The SACC’s pathological and irrational hatred of Zuma and the radical economic transformation ANC economic programme that he, and also us in the MKMVA stand for, led Mpumlwana to outrageously compare the MKMVA with the proliferation of right-wing paramilitary formations in our country,” he said.
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) March 3, 2021