As a group of ANC protesters stormed the party’s headquarters on Monday, the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) claim to have received orders from President Jacob Zuma to protect the house.
The (MKMVA) head Kebby Maphatsoe said the camouflage-clad members’ protecting the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters on Monday was a show of force.
He said the deployment was not a provocation or threat to protesters who had a constitutional right to register their dissatisfaction publicly, but a show of force that will show all South Africans that if you want to attack the ANC, MKMVA will rise to the occasion.
“We are not fighting here. They said they are going to occupy Luthuli House, and if they want to do that it means they don’t want the ANC to do its work,” Maphatsoe said, adding that the MKMVA was merely following orders given by President Jacob Zuma in 2012.
“In 2012, during our conference in Bisho, President Jacob Zuma gave MKMVA the battle orders, and one of those orders was to protect the black, green and gold [the ANC] at all costs.
“We are implementing those instructions by the president; at all times military veterans will be at the forefront of defending the ANC and its leadership,” he said
Not only did the MKMVA come to the defense of President Jacob Zuma, the NEC members and the Luthuli house against protesters, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), all followed suit to say President Jacob Zuma will finish his term whether people like it or not, and that no amount of protesting will change that.
The groups assembled outside the building to oppose supporters of the ‘Occupy Luthuli House’ group who handed over a memorandum to the party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe, demanding Zuma step down.
Addressing party members, ANCYL General Secretary Njabulo Nzuza told the Occupy Luthuli House supporters to stop dreaming as their counterrevolutionary attempt to bring disunity to the ANC will not succeed.
He also noted that part of the people supporting the protest are not even members of the organization but foreign nationals who look forward to the party’s demise.
“Some of those people are not even known within the organisation, some of them are foreign nationals from Swaziland who are clearly here to cause disunity within the organisations.”
Meanwhile organizer of the protest Bonolo Ramokhele noted that the actions of the MKMVA, ANCYL and ANCWL was a confirmation of how worse things have gotten in the party.
He said however, that he was glad the y were able to register their message to the party. “We will be watching the party closely to ensure it responds to their demands”he added.
The MKMVA had threatened to assault members of the occupy Luthuli House group, if they came anywhere close to the party’s headquarters.