Editorials 13.12.2016 05:16 am

MK awards saga another sign of disunity within ANC

Deputy minister of Defense and chairperson of the MKMVA Kebby Maphatsoe responds to questions from members of the media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, 08 September 2014, during a briefing on the ANC's military arm's allegations that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is a CIA spy. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Deputy minister of Defense and chairperson of the MKMVA Kebby Maphatsoe responds to questions from members of the media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, 08 September 2014, during a briefing on the ANC's military arm's allegations that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is a CIA spy. Picture: Refilwe Modise

It is right that veterans have voiced deep dissatisfaction at a number of awards due to be conferred by President Zuma.

We despair of a sense of what is right and just ever being fully woven into the fabric of our society, imperfect as it still is, marred by the warp and weft of past injustices.

It is right that some Umkonto weSizwe (MK) veterans have forcibly voiced their deep dissatisfaction at a number of awards due to be conferred by President Jacob Zuma in the name of the MK Military Veterans’ Association at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni on Thursday.

Listed alongside the 31 MK honourees are departed Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni and SABC group executive for corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng, none of whom have exactly covered themselves in the glowing light of what would be perceived as outstanding achievement.

The feelings espoused by Archie Mogodiri, speaking on behalf of the aggrieved veterans, that the rich legacy of MK was being “abused” and “rubbished” by those who were allegedly desperate for political relevance has still to be fully tested.

So, we would suggest, is the assertion made by the somewhat erratic MKMVA chairperson, Kebby Maphatsoe, that the association was recognising people who had helped to transform the economy – a contention that remains open to debate on several levels.

It is also one of those ironies that crisscross this country’s politics that Zuma, a leader not roundly endorsed by the electorate, would be the man to bestow these awards on the recipients.

The rank and file veterans have branded this “selling their souls for a piece of silver” and allowing themselves to be used in ANC factional battles.

Be this as it may, the strength of the rhetoric being bandied about is unquestionably of an aggressive and confrontational nature and, whether you support the causes espoused by the MKMVA or not, can hardly be construed as conducive to party unity within the ANC.

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