Declaration of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, 04th National Conference 11 - 14 October 2012, Birchwood Hotel & Conference Centre, October 14 2012
We the delegates to this the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) 4th National Conference held in Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Boksburg in the Gauteng province from Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th October 2012 adopt this declaration as representatives of all veterans of uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the erstwhile military wing of the African National Congress (ANC).
We commanders and commissars gathered under the theme "Unity and Renewal Towards a National Democratic Society," bearing the duty of ensuring that we forge unity of all revolutionary forces against the continued onslaught of the legacies of colonialism, apartheid and neo-liberalism against our people.
The National Conference is held in the month of October when we celebrate the legacy of the longest serving President of the ANC and revolutionary Commander in Chief Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo. As correctly said by President Jacob Zuma this gives special meaning to this National Conference.
We note that as we celebrate the centenary of the ANC, we cannot miss the opportunity to highlight the 50th anniversary of the formation of MK as a celebration of the glorious years of armed struggle and self-sacrifice in pursuit of the ideal of freedom and total liberation of all our people and Africans in particular.
We thank the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) for their vision in forming MK to defend our people and waging the armed struggle against apartheid.
We thank the ANC, the SACP, COSATU, the leagues and SANCO and all other fraternal structures for the political responsibility they have shouldered and their contributions to our national conference.
We remain steadfast and committed to the traditions of MK, to achieve one singular objective, the unity of the ANC and the revolutionary alliance partners, including the Leagues and the mass democratic forces
We call for a formal resolution at the 53rd ANC National Conference for the inclusion and recognition of MKMVA structures being represented in the ANC structures at all levels.
The newly elected National Executive Committee must with engage the ANC as soon as possible to put in place concrete steps to address the socio-economic plight of military veterans.
We state that the role of MK Commissars in our revolution is paramount to ensure the unity and renewal of the revolutionary alliance under the leadership of the ANC for the achievement of total freedom and a transcending transformation of South Africa.
We declare that the veterans of MK remain an advanced political detachment committed under oath to defend the people and the movement, as Comrade Oliver Tambo once stated, to "Wage a relentless war against disrupters and defend the ANC against provocateurs and enemy agents."
The National Conference further mandated the leadership collective to ensure that welfare of MK military veterans and their beneficiaries is a key task of our government.
It is a negative reflection on our country that the majority of military veterans are trapped in the quagmire of poverty, inequality and unemployment bringing about a greater desolation.
We call on the leadership of the ANC and government to ensure that freedom fighters who are military veterans are accorded the respect and dignity to live under humane conditions, in recognition of the sacrifices they made to bring democracy to South Africa.
We call on the treasury to adequately fund the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) and ensure the proper distribution and utilisation of resources to better the lives of military veterans.
The Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans must ensure the mainstreaming of development of the military veterans and their beneficiaries, and engage with military veterans on their programmes.
We call for the amendment of the Special Pensions Act to accommodate those who were excluded by the unreasonable age cut off; and we call for a consideration that some members of MK would have been eighteen years at the dissolution of armed struggle.
We call on our government of our people that was achieved through the sacrifices and bloodshed that it should ensure the repatriation of the remains of all freedom fighters that have been buried in foreign lands; the state must shoulder the responsibility to bury our fallen heroes with the dignity they deserve.
Conference acknowledges that organisational building and renewal of the ANC require us to patiently employ the training and skills we acquired in MK during the difficult times to ensure that we usher forward a new cadre rooted in the traditions and culture of our movement.
We remain a reservoir of knowledge, history, tradition and culture and we have a duty to ensure the transmission and preservation of these to strengthen the role of the ANC in leading our people.
Conference notes the unprecedented onslaught by those who have lost political power against the ANC, government and its President. These forces misuse the media, courts and other public institutions to undermine the gains of our revolution.
We are concerned of the situation in Marikana and the role played by those who misuse worker struggles for their own personal interests. We remain committed to the plight of the workers and defending the gains made through centuries of struggles led by the movement of the people and the tried and tested leadership of the revolutionary unions under COSATU.
Conference resolves to support the following comrades for the top leadership positions of the ANC; President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, National Chairperson Baleka Mbete, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte and Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize.
Conference supports these comrades based on the their history, the role they played in the ANC and MK, the role they continue to play in building cohesion and unity in the ANC, alliance and government and the achievements of government under their leadership.
As we advance in unity towards the 53rd National Conference of the ANC we are confident that the ANC is still in good hands to fulfil its historical mission under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma and the collective that will emerge out of the National Conference in Mangaung.
Issued by Kebby Maphatsoe, National Chairperson, MKMVA HQ, October 14 2012
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