African National Congress stalwarts are raising questions about a group of men who are said to be MK veterans who stood outside Luthuli House on Friday to defend the headquarters of the ruling party.
“Who are these people‚ the majority whose age exposes them as too young to have never served in MK; who are these people who believe that anyone can dress up as though they fought against apartheid in our military wing?” the stalwarts said in a statement.
“It is an insult to our fallen heroes and those who served without thought of material benefits. We live in a constitutional democracy and we do not need private armies to defend our movement.
“Our tradition has always been to respect the views of others‚ to listen‚ to learn‚ to accept constructive criticism. It is therefore‚ with deep concern that we hear of anonymous threats to individuals and families who have raised their concerns about the present state of the movement and the need for honest introspection. Threats‚ intimidation and violence have no place in our country‚ irrespective of their source.”
The group of ANC veterans‚ who are signatories to the document For The Sake of Our Future‚ have been calling for the ruling party to hold a consultative congress in which the crisis facing the country could be discussed.
On Friday a group in military gear stood outside Luthuli House to make sure none of the protesters on the day would protest at the headquarters of the ANC in downtown Johannesburg.
Stalwarts were also disappointed with the disruption of the Ahmed Kathrada memorial service in Durban on Sunday by the ANC Youth League.
“It is an insult not only to Uncle Kathy’s memory but an insult to all who have sacrificed so much in the name of participatory democracy‚ non-racialism and non-sexism‚” the stalwarts said.
“Could this unrepresentative minority not see the irony of disrupting a memorial service for a comrade who spent more time in jail than the life-span of many of the disruptors; could they not see the irony of disrupting a memorial service for a comrade who had dedicated his time since his release from jail to uplift the youth of our country.”