The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania says the actions of members of the ANC Military Veterans Association during the recent #OccupyLuthuliHouse protest were uncalled for.
A group of ANC Youth League members and some of its former leaders marched to Luthuli House and presented a memorandum demanding that President Jacob Zuma step down, the ANC NEC be disbanded and an early party elective conference be held. But MKMVA members and the police prevented them from entering the building.
Luthando Mbinda, PAC president, yesterday said that while the PAC military veterans would also have protected the party’s structures and property, there was no need for the MKMVA members to be armed.
Mbinda said as the military wings of the liberation movement were disbanded after the integration of statutory and non-statutory military forces, none of them should still be carrying weapons.
He said Apla military veterans would defend PAC structures. But as Apla was disbanded during the negotiations and its members demobilised and integrated into the SANDF, there is no need for them to do civic duties or to threaten citizens with arms.
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“If they want to defend and protect PAC structures and property, Apla members would do so as PAC members, not as a paramilitary group.”
According to Mbinda, the constitution allows all the former non-statutory forces to establish their military veterans associations in order to look after the welfare of their ex-combatants. But they should not be armed because they could become a threat to the same citizens they are supposed to defend.
He said the MKMVA members should have left the police to do their job.
“They must not be seen to be promoting anarchy. Anything could have happened had those protesters forced their way to enter Luthuli House because the MKMVA were not trained to handle people. Besides, that was a peaceful march. There was no need at all for them to be armed or aggressive because those people were exercising their rights. I would have condemned that even if it was our Apla veterans,” Mbinda said.