The 58th anniversary of Umkhonto we Sizwe
12 December 2019
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) community under the leadership of the African National Congress National Executive Committee Peace and Stability Sub-Committee, will host a national gathering at Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, on Monday, the 16th December 2019 starting at 11h00. This gathering will be hosted to honor the founding of MK 58 years ago and remember all those martyrs, heroes and heroines who laid down their lives for the freedom of their people.
After the banning of the ANC and other political organizations and their leaders arrested, tortured and sentenced to long term imprisonment, the liberation movement came to a conclusion that the struggle for liberation had to continue but had to include armed methods of struggle. Hence the Spear of the Nation Umkhonto Wesizwe was born on the 16th December 1961.
Over the years of the banning of the ANC, operating largely from our various bases in Southern Africa, MK played a strategic role in all the four pillars of the struggle through its cadres deployed naturally in politico military operations; setting up the ANC underground inside the country; activating communities to form themselves into different overt formations of the struggle against the apartheid regime, and also in carrying out international tasks to mobilize the world against the apartheid regime.
This gathering will be held at a challenging time for the ANC and its revolutionary alliance. It is a time when the ANC is being challenged to rise to the occasion to renew and unite its bases for a final assault on the forces of reaction for the total liberation of the poorest of the poor from poverty, joblessness and inequality. It is in this political and organizational context that this event will strive to emphasize the need for unity within the community of the former MK combatants and critically, that of the ANC.
It is in our understanding that the selfless role that MK combatants played during the struggle was indispensable to the continued life of the movement. That role of uniting the movement, mobilizing support for the plight of the people of South Africa, and ensuring that the principles of the ANC as the leader of the society remain respected and embraced by South Africans in their majority. As former members of MK we respect the oath that we took when we became combatants, and it is on the basis of that oath that we continue to subject ourselves to defend the people of South Africa, their unity and that of the ANC.
We therefore view the issue of unity amongst ourselves as of critical importance and to play our natural role of also uniting our mother body the ANC. It is in this spirit that we hold the 16th December 2019 MK Day at the locality of the 1955 Congress of the People gathering, which urged for the unity of our country and its people. We do so with our burning desire to demonstrate our willingness to unite as the community of former MK combatants. We pledge to unite and serve the people of South Africa at all times until the historical mission of our glorious movement the ANC is achieved.
Issued by Carl Niehaus, National Executive Member of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans, 12 December 2019