Military Veterans

About 56 Military veterans will appear in court in connectiuon with hostage situatuion. Image via Twitter: Carl Niehaus

MKMVA wants ANC to reconsider ‘inadequate’ disbandment, reiterates Zuma support

The MKMVA said its disbandment is “inadequate” and called on the ANC to reconsider its decision. The struggle veterans’ association was dissolved earlier this year.

Military Veterans

About 56 Military veterans will appear in court in connectiuon with hostage situatuion. Image via Twitter: Carl Niehaus

The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) decided that its disbandment was “inadequate” and once again called for the ANC to reconsider its decision. The ruling party disbanded the struggle veterans’ association earlier this year and reaffirmed its decision after alleged members flouted lockdown restrictions and made violent threats at former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead before he surrendered himself to authorities.


The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) convened a special meeting and vowed to defend democratic institutions, such as the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, from political attacks.

The party’s deputy secretary-general addressed the media on Tuesday, 6 July, the day after the meeting from Luthuli House. She said the ANC condemned the actions of individuals acting under the banner of MKMVA. The party noted “The counter-revolutionary calls for violence and even civil war, parading of armed groups, flagrant display of weapons and firing of guns as well as the activities, particularly of individuals operating under the banner of the MKMVA,”.

The ANC NEC took the decision to disband the MKVA and MK national council. Duarte said it was time for the ANC to clean up its structures. “The ANC cannot have youth league members older than 40 years and then have MKMVA members who are younger than 35.”

The MKMVA was initially outraged by the disbandment but over the last few weeks, they have changed their approach and now want to merge with existing ANC structures.

ALSO READ: Carl Niehaus on MK vets’ disbandment: ‘We do not accept this’

In a statement on Saturday, 24 July, MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus said the organisation’s own “extended” NEC held a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

“The extended NEC meeting thoroughly considered this position [disbandment] of the ANC NEC, and after extensive deliberations came to the decision that the disbandment of MKMVA is humbly dismissed as inadequate,” said Niehaus.

Niehaus said the MKMVA believes the correct procedure would be to “dissolve” the current NEC of the MKMVA at a unity conference “and not beforehand.” However, the veterans association is not closing the door on further engagement with their ANC.

The MKMVA said the converging of it with the ANC leadership will be a triumph.

 “This gave us as MKMVA NEC a very good reason to step forward in requesting our ANC to grant us audience once more.

“And it is only around the table unlike through press release/conference that engaging will enhance the achievement of a balanced political solution capable of accelerating the restoration of the dignity of the impoverished soldiers,” said Niehaus.


The veterans association reaffirmed their support for Zuma, saying that the extended NEC is resolute in its support and sympathy for the former president.

“Like many of our leaders within the movement who are close to our hearts, he had to overcome the hardships of separation, uncertainty, degradation, etc,” said Niehaus. “He did so with grave and resolve, without complaint or self-pity.

Jacob Zuma Carl Niehaus arrest
Photo: Twitter / Carl Niehaus

The MKMVA also expressed “outrage and deep concern” over the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng “as a result of the unfortunate incarceration of President Jacob Zuma.”

The veterans did not go so far as to contradict the national government who believe the unrest was instigated by at least 12 individuals but said: “all narratives point to the presence of genuine challenges that could have been handled better.”

“While there can be no way of absolutely ruling out enemy interference… [t]he absence of robust, honest and genuine engagement within the ANC ranks broadly also ensured a weak response to the challenges.”

The MKMVA also took offence to allegations that members from its structure instigated the violence.

“Those false utterances has far-reaching implications on the attitudes/perceptions towards MK combatants… we joined Umkhonto we Sizwe to protect and liberate our nation, and we continue to defend and build our democracy.