Deputy minister of defence and military veterans Kebby Maphatsoe has come out guns blazing against African National Congress (ANC) veterans who have requested a meeting with the party’s leadership in the wake of scandals that have rocked President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.
Maphatsoe, a devoted supporter and defender of Zuma, has described the 101 party stalwarts as “empty tins”, “irrelevant” and “without struggle credentials” for calling on Zuma to vacate office and a consultative conference to tackle the ANC’s rooted problems around corruption, ethical leadership and the party’s future.
Maphatsoe, who’s also the chairperson of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Veterans Association (MKVA), took a swipe at the group that includes Rivonia triallists Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni and Reverend Frank Chikane, as “so-called-veterans” mounting an attack against Zuma.
“Some of those veterans don’t have good struggle credentials. Those who have good struggle credentials are sitting in the processes of the ANC. They are empty tins making noise there,” he said.
Former president Thabo Mbeki supports the veterans; on Tuesday, he wrote a letter to Zuma on requesting him to give the veterans an audience.
On Thursday the anti-Apartheid struggle stalwarts said they were waiting for a response from Zuma on their September request to meet him over their concerns of the state of the ANC and that of the country.
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They also presented a document with suggestions on the way forward for the ANC, titled For the Sake of Our Future, which was sent to the ANC top-six leaders.
“This is history. There has never been this type of coming together of stalwarts and indicates the level of concern about the country and the state of the movement,” Reverend Chikane said.