Those who live and glass houses not to throw stones – MKMVA

Association welcomes decision to lift suspension of Radzilani and Masiza

MKMVA welcomes the principled decision of the ANC NEC to lift the suspension of Comrades Radzilani and Masiza, and condemns opportunistic attacks on the ANC NEC for having done so

7 July 2020

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) noted with dismay an opportunistic media statement that was issued by the so-called MK National Council in Limpopo. This statement purports to object to the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) to lift the suspension of comrades Florence Radzilani and Danny Msiza, who are respectively the Deputy Chair and Treasurer in the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in Limpopo Province.

The statement furthermore arrogantly claims to talk on behalf of “all ex-combatants andthe people of South Africa”. This is a shameless lie, which undermines the hard work thathad been done to bring all ex-MK combatants together, in line with the Resolution of the 54th National Conference of the ANC.

It cannot be that in the context of the great strides towards unity of MK veterans that had been made, that some individuals see it fit to issue a statement attacking a decision of the NEC of the ANC. Neither can it be acceptable for such individuals to purport to be anti-corruption, while it is evident that they are abusing the legitimate struggle against corruption as a bandwagon to promote their own narrow personal, factional, political agendas. MKMVA will not tolerate such opportunism, and we refute with contempt the lie that is peddled in their statement that it also speaks on our behalf. It certainly does not!

The facts of the matter are that although comrades Radzilani and Msiza were mentioned in the VBS report which was commissioned by SARS, they are not among those charged by the law-enforcement agencies. It is now almost two years that the two comrades stepped aside from their positions in the Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), and the decision of the ANC NEC for the two comrades to be reinstated in their positions was correct.

MKMVA, representing disciplined liberation soldiers, adheres to the principle of democratic centralism, and we respect and will defend the decisions of the ANC NEC, which is highest decision making structure of our ANC mother body, when National Conferences are not in session.

We concur with the principled and correct decision of the ANC NEC that every South African citizen is protected by the constitutional principle that every person is presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law. Thus it would have been a travesty of justice for the two comrades in question to have remained indefinitely suspended from their legitimately elected positions. To allow that to happen would have been grossly unfair, and MKMVA commends the ANC NEC for having grasped the nettle, and to have taken a principled and constitutionally sound decision.

For the individuals who issued their statement, in which they attacked the ANC NEC, to claim that they do so in the name of fighting corruption, is disingenuous. One does not fight corruption by undermining the very Constitution that protects our human rights as citizens, that especially us as MK veterans have fought so hard for.

MKMVA is committed to the fight against corruption. In fact we regard the fight against corruption to be one of the most important priorities, but this fight will only succeed if we conduct it in a principled and constitutionally sound manner. We have noted counter-revolutionary tendencies - of which the renegade statement in question is an example - of using allegations of corruption to fight factional political battles, and to tarnish the reputations of comrades without evidence. We have also noted that those who make themselves guilty of such opportunistic conduct usually try to present themselves as ‘angels of morality’, and champions of the oppressed and poor. They do so, while their own conduct and personal lives do not back up such claims. This is hypocrisy of the worst kind!

Throughout the world, but especially in Africa, we have seen how unsubstantiated allegations of corruption are used by reactionary forces to undermine liberation movements. The consequence is not the empowerment of the poor and oppressed, but actually the weakening of those who oppose economic exploitation and imperialism, and the perpetuation of the exploitation of the poor. In our legitimate fight against corruption we must consistently guard against such ‘angels with horns’, who do not care about corruption at all, but use it as a tool destroy those who stand in the way of their own self-serving political ambitions. More often than not such opportunists are the worse among the corrupt, and themselves corrupters of note.

The plight of MK veterans, many of whom are destitute, is a very serious matter, and it needs to be addressed as a matter of the utmost urgency. Those who have been part of the discussions, that took place under the auspices of the Peace and Stability Committee of the ANC NEC, to bring unity in the ranks of MK veterans, know that this is a matter that received the most attention. All of us who are truly committed to unity see it as a priority that a united organization of all MK veterans must urgently address. However, this laudable objective will certainly not be advanced by opportunistic media statements, that abuse the genuine hardships that MK veterans face, in order to promote factional, self-serving, political agendas. Those who do so should be ashamed of themselves!

MKMVA once again re-affirms our commitment to the struggle against corruption. In this regard we support the law enforcement agencies in their investigations, and the actions that had been taken to advance charges with regards to the VBS matter, and also all other steps to fight corruption. In doing so we urge the law enforcement agencies, and specifically the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), to always take great care to avoidbecoming entangled in politics and factional objectives. The law must always be seen to be administered without fear or favor.

In conclusion MKMVA warns those who live and glass houses not to throw stones, nor to appropriate for themselves big titles of ‘General’, when they know very well that they have never been ranked as such.

The great Amilcar Cabral wrote: “Hide nothing from the masses. Tell no lies. Expose lieswherever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories”.

In reminding ourselves of these wise words, MKMVA recommits itself to leave no stone unturned to improve the lives of our members, as part of our overall commitment to the full liberation of all black (especially African) South Africans.


Issued by Carl Niehaus, MKMVA NEC Member, and National Spokesperson, 7 July 2020