MK veterans council to boycott ANC policy conference
6 June 2017
Johannesburg - A group of African National Congress MK veterans will not take part in the ruling party's policy conference later in June.
The conference was merely a costly distraction, former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and SANDF head, General Siphiwe Nyanda told reporters at Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia on Tuesday.
The MK veterans' national council steering committee took the decision.
The council was formed in 2016 by former MK generals and commissars concerned with the political direction of the MK Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA), led by Kebby Maphatsoe. It is not an officially recognised ANC structure.
"The steering committee has decided not to have anything to do with the pending ANC policy conference," Nyanda said.
A special ANC consultative conference was needed for members to come up with ways to "arrest our downslide" following massive loss in support after the August 3 local government elections.
The ANC lost three large metros: Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay, to a Democratic Alliance-led coalition.
Making the consultative conference part of the policy conference, as ANC leaders had stated, would be a fruitless exercise as it would not have the status to take decisions, Nyanda said.
The ANC policy conference has been scheduled for June 30 to July 5.
Nyanda said the ANC had still not compiled a list of delegates who would address the consultative conference or indicate what weight any decisions taken there would have.
The MK council also rejected as treacherous the MKMVA's national executive committee's unilateral decision to convene an elective conference.
Nyanda said the MKMVA conference would merely perpetuate disunity and marginalise hundreds of their members.
He called on "genuine" MKMVA members to dissociate themselves from what he said was a betrayal.
He said the council and MKMVA had previously reached an agreement to have an inclusive conference.
"The very next day, as we were reporting positively about what has happened, the leadership of MKMVA decided to repudiate all these decisions. I don't know how to describe it, except as treacherous."
MKMVA leaders had ignored an injunction by the ANC's NEC to set up a committee to help resolve the dispute about its conference, he said.