/ 29 April 2013

SA First: Ex-MK members launch new political party

Sa First: Ex Mk Members Launch New Political Party

It would be run by expelled Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) member Eddie Mokhoanatse and former member Lucky Twala.

"We are not angry with the ANC, we are not disgruntled," Mokhoanatse said.

"When we joined the ANC, essentially we were joining the liberation struggle and the ANC as an agent of change. When it veers away from the core values we don't see any value in staying in the organisation."

Mokhoanatse said he did not believe the ANC was motivated by a desire to help people – it had become an organisation of individuals.

Mokhoanatse joined MK and the ANC in 1976, Twala joined in 1978.

Mokhoanatse was expelled from the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) last year for casting aspersions on the reputation of the ANC.

He was part of a group which took MKMVA leaders to court after they allegedly turned the organisation's investment holdings into their own personal bank.

R40 000 cash payout
Last year, the group reportedly laid criminal charges against former treasurer general Dumisani Khoza, former chairperson Deacon Mathe, treasurer at the time Johannes Motseki, current chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe and deputy public service minister and current secretary of the association, Ayanda Dlodlo, who received a R40 000 cash payout from the association in December 2008.

Maphatsoe said MKMVA members were very disappointed with those who were forming the new party.

"They are a disappointment to the nation … outside the MKMVA they are nothing," said Maphatsoe.

"It's a non-starter because outside Umkhonto weSizwe [and the ANC] they are nothing, they must ask Julius [Malema]. The ANC made Julius."

He said these former MKMVA members who were joining the party were sell outs.

Maphatsoe added that MKMVA was part of the ANC and by starting another political party these members had automatically expelled themselves from the ruling party.

SA First would not be a threat to the ANC, said Maphatsoe.

"If comrades are unhappy [they] can't go out and form a new party," he said.

"There is no difference between this group and the Terror [Mosiuoa] Lekota's of Cope [Congress of the People]."

Contesting the 2014 elections
Mokhoanatse said SA First intended on contesting the 2014 elections and would register the party with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) after the launch.

However, the party did not have official leadership.

"Where there are prominent people there are problems."

Mokhoanatse said he and Twala would be running with the initiative making sure it was grounded and structured.

The party was also not focused on membership.

"We are not membership driven, we are a coalition of independent citizens and civil society organisations. We are not looking for people to join, we are looking for South Africans to support us," said Mokhoanatse.

The party said it wanted community leaders and independent candidates, to come forward and join the coalition.

Aim of SA First
The aim of SA First was to reclaim the space for private citizens and enable them to participate in influencing public discourse and shape the future of the country.

According to a statement by SA First, the ANC had dismally failed to deliver credible and lasting socio-economic and political solutions that was consistent with the expectations of South Africans and the Constitution.

"The spectre of the ruling party continuing to misgovern our country for the next five years, can only yield one result – another failed state in the southernmost tip of the African continent," it said.

It also added that all opposition parties failed to deliver a credible alternative to the ruling party.

"Our country has reached a tipping point. It cannot be business as usual. The time to act is now," the party said. – Sapa