MK: it’s not about personal gain

Members of uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) sing and dance at Nasrec, Johannesburg on 6 October 2017. The MK members are attending a two day all inclusive Veterans’ National Conference. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Members of uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) sing and dance at Nasrec, Johannesburg on 6 October 2017. The MK members are attending a two day all inclusive Veterans’ National Conference. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Those who formed Umkhonto we Sizwe fought apartheid to make a genuinely better life for all South Africans.

The sad reality of conflict is that when soldiers come marching home, they are often ignored – by the politicians who sent them to war and by the people in whose name they fought.

Members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), at least those who genuinely did fight against apartheid, might have experienced this, so it is understandable they are angry.

But, this does not entitle them to threaten or intimidate government organisations or municipalities, demanding tenders or jobs – a phenomenon which is becoming all too frequent, according to military analyst Dr Jakkie Cilliers of the Institute for Security Studies.

This week, disgruntled MKMVA members protested outside the ANC headquarters in Durban, carrying on the grand South African tradition which holds that, unless you protest, nobody listens to you.

But if government gives in to their pressure and awards them contracts on the basis of who they are – and what they did in the past – then the destruction already wrought by ANC cadre deployment will spread even further.

Those who formed MK did not fight apartheid for personal gain; they did so to make a genuinely better life for all South Africans.

That must never be forgotten.

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