Message of support to Gauteng MKLWV Conference
Good morning Cdes and it’s a pleasure for us to be with you today. As the ANCVL we are happy that the Gauteng Provincial conference of the MKLWV is finally meeting. This will put a nail in the coffin of those who were bent on dividing ANC ex-combatants and using you as political pawns to fight ANC’s factional battles.
We trust that this conference will unite all ANC ex-combatants and ensure that they play a meaningful role in the life of the organization and society.
When the interim structure of former members of MK was established in April last year it was mandated to establish credible and legitimate structures of MKLWV in the nine provinces. The second most important task was to discuss and get inputs from members of MKWVL on the Interim Constitution that was presented at your conference in April 2022.
It is important that we mobilize and build strong structures of MKLWV in the nine provinces.
Without a strong and cohesive organization, we will not be able to attend to the immediate social needs of MKLWV.
It is sad that to date MKLWV is not yet recognized by the South African National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA). This has a negative impact on MKLWV as a legitimate and largest structure of ANC ex-combatants as it cannot influence and make positive inputs about the plight of all ex-combatants.
As the ANCVL we are committed to working with you to urgently address the social and economic plight of all ex-combatants. It’s unacceptable that after thirty years of liberation ex-combatants still do not have the promised houses, economic opportunities and social benefits promised by the movement. It is even worse that at times, the delivery of benefits that are intended for you is sabotaged by unscrupulous individuals in government.
It is also unfortunate that MKMVA which was dissolved by the NEC of the ANC in April last year is still being recognized by SANMVA. These are administrative issues which should have long been resolved but they are an irritant.
As the ANCVL which is a constitutional structure of the ANC, we support the work of MKLWV and are committed to working closely with you and the elected leadership.
Cde Chair, the majority of MKLWV members qualify to be members of the ANCVL and we would want to welcome you into our ranks. For one to be a member of the ANCVL one must be sixty years of age and have forty years of uninterrupted service in the ANC.
Comrades, we should work closely together to ensure that the movement delivers on its objectives. The ANCVL is committed to the renewal of the ANC and to ensuring that the movement regains the trust deficit that it has with society. As veterans of the movement, we want an ANC that is free of corruption, factionalism political violence and believe that a strong ANC is an asset to the movement and the country.
Addressing the ANCVL conference in July the president of the ANC said the following:
“You have the right to call upon our structures to unite and get rid of factionalism and to say there should be discipline within the organization and that we must be well-behaved in meetings of the ANC. You have the right because it is born out of your experience, your conscientiousness and who you are. You have the right and a voice.”
Veterans of the armed struggle are ANC veterans and we should be working together to address factionalism and build discipline. The renewal and strengthening of the ANC is critical if we want to secure an overwhelming victory of the ANC in the 2024 elections. This task is thus urgent and important.
As I end, comrades, our world is in deep crisis. Our commander-in-chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa was in Egypt yesterday to address the wanton destruction of lives and livelihoods in Palestine. He called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, the release of hostages, the lifting of the siege of Gaza, the opening of humanitarian corridors and the urgent provision of aid to the people of Gaza. He also called for a United Nationals-led negotiation process towards resolving the conflict.
As veterans of the movement and with experience of war and conflict, we must stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. As organised formations we should be raising our banner in marches and protests and where possible contribute to calls for solidarity and support.
Issued by ANC Veterans League (HQ)