Rebels in the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association want to lay fraud charges against MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe and the department of military veterans for using state money to fund an elective conference they believe was unlawful.
The group, which held its own elective conference convened by the MK National Council, also wants Maphatsoe expelled from MK for fleeing an ANC camp during the struggle.
Last week, the council, led by former chief of staff Siphiwe Nyanda and Deputy Justice and Correctional Services Minister Thabang Makwetla, convened a conference at which its members and some from MKMVA elected a new leadership.
It is understood that Nyanda and Makwetla were elected as chairperson and secretary general of a structure they say is the MKMVA, with the hope of unseating Maphatsoe and his executive.
Nyanda said delegates had expressed a desire to lay fraud charges over the June conference. “There are people who said there need to be charges brought against those people [from the department] who gave funding for the conference knowing that there were delegates who weren’t bona fide MKMVA members.”
Former MKMVA secretary general Dumisani Nduli said more than 300 people who were not on the MKMVA database attended the June conference.
Under the Military Veterans Act the department of military veterans can fund an MKMVA conference, but the rebels say it is unlawful for government to fund fake members.
Maphatsoe denied claims that he had used fake MKMVA delegates to vote him into power and said proper procedure was followed in vetting the authenticity of the delegates.
He didn’t believe the rebels would succeed in bringing charges against him: “Our [MMKVA] constitution is very clear that no individual can be charged as an individual as long as they were doing work on behalf of the organisation.”
“If they want to serve charges, they must also serve themselves with charges because they claim they are also MKMVA,” Maphatsoe scoffed.
This is not the first time fraud charges have been brought against Maphatsoe. In 2012 he and four other MKMVA members were charged for allegedly making unauthorised payments from the association’s investment holdings.
Another resolution was adopted to have Maphatsoe expelled from MK for desertion, because he allegedly ran away from an MK camp in Uganda while in training during the 1980s. The ANC NEC is yet to make a decision on whether it will dissolve Maphatsoe’s executive or dismiss the MK council’s bid for recognition.
Maphatsoe urged MK Council leaders to rather join the ANC Veterans League, which unlike the MKMVA had voting status.
The league will hold its national conference in Boksburg this weekend.