/ 14 June 2017

Military vets: The SACP has been captured by the enemy

Kebby Maphatsoe has been strongly criticised for his accusations that public protector Thuli Madonsela is a CIA agent.
Kebby Maphatsoe has been strongly criticised for his accusations that public protector Thuli Madonsela is a CIA agent.

The uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has launched a blistering attack on the South African Communist Party (SACP), accusing it of being captured by “white monopoly capital”.

In an interview this week, MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe also accused ANC national executive committee (NEC) members who have called on President Jacob Zuma to step down of being “captured” and of “speaking the language of the enemy”.

The SACP has been critical of Zuma and has also made repeated calls for him to quit. It has criticised the ANC’s use of the term “white monopoly capital”, which it says is being abused to excuse the enrichment of politically connected elites such as the Gupta family.

Maphatsoe said: “We have come to a conclusion that there is no difference between them and our enemy.

“You can’t have leaders of the ANC, especially from the South African Communist Party, all of a sudden saying there is no white monopoly capital. We ask ourselves, which analysis are they using? Are they still relevant to be leaders of the communist party if they say there is no white monopoly capital?”

SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila dismissed Maphatsoe’s claims, saying they were being made to shield the Guptas from criticism.

“We don’t have a problem. They [the MKMVA] can repeat it as many times as they want. It doesn’t resemble any truth. We have never been captured, we were in the frontline – since democracy – of launching an attack against capital. Where were they? They were hiding,” Mapaila said.

Maphatsoe was re-elected, unopposed, as the leader of the MKMVA at its 5th national elective conference in Boksburg last weekend. At the conference the organisation took a resolution to endorse Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred presidential candidate, joining the ANC Youth League as the newest voices publicly supporting her.

Both organisations released near-identical lists of their preferred top six candidates ahead of the ANC’s December elective conference.

They are calling for Mpumalanga Premier David “DD” Mabuza to be the deputy president, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa the chairperson, Free State Premier Ace Magashule the secretary general, Jessie Duarte to remain deputy secretary general and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane the treasurer general.

The youth league also called for the creation of a new position for a second deputy secretary general, which it wants filled by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“Among the leadership qualities we are looking for is an uncompromising commitment to ‘radical economic transformation’,” said youth league secretary general Njabulo Nzuza.

“They must expand economic participation of the majority of our people by breaking the stranglehold of white monopoly capital on the systems of ownership, control and distribution of economic resources.”

There are now three ANC structures publically endorsing Dlamini-Zuma, the first of them being the women’s league, which made its pronouncement in January.

Women’s league president Bathabile Dlamini told the Mail & Guardian that the organisation could not yet say whether it supported the top six list released by the youth league and the MKMVA because it is yet to consult its members. “We are going to take our cue from the structures of the women’s league.” 

The women’s league was clear that it wanted Dlamini-Zuma as the face of its campaign.

Provinces also likely to support Dlamini-Zuma include the Free State, North West, parts of Kwazulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

But it was not yet clear whether Mpumalanga would support Dlamini-Zuma. The M&G understands that none of the four Mpumalanga regions at the conference last weekend endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as their candidate.

The list released by the MKMVA and youth league is likely to be the official slate of the Dlamini-Zuma faction. Despite the MKMVA not having voting rights at the elective conference, it is still a powerful lobby group .

“Most of our members are leaders of their branches. So we have our way of how do we influence the African National Congress processes,” Maphatsoe said.

Although the ANC has allowed structures to discuss the names of their preferred candidates, it has not yet opened the nominations process for succession. So far, the top contenders for the presidential position included Dlamini-Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa recently also accepted endorsement from branches in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.