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MK veterans a beacon of hope for ANC – Mkhize

African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize has called on former Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants to become beacons of hope in the revival of the party’s values, which he says are being trampled upon.

Speaking during the MK Military Veterans’ Amadelafuka Awards in Durban, Mkhize also raised concerns about what he calls “gate keeping” of membership and membership fraud in the ANC.

The awards recognise both the living and fallen fighters of the ANC’s military wing for their dedication in the struggle for freedom.

Mkhize says former Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants have a responsibility to infuse the culture of discipline, tradition and values that have guided the ANC for the past 100 years.

The party has recently been marred by tensions emanating from leadership contests and government positions.

According to Mkhize the ruling party is concerned about the new tendency of manipulating the party’s membership.

“One of the issues that are a challenge that we have to deal with is the problems of gate keeping and membership fraud. ANC belongs to all of us; ANC does not belong to those who are holding the office or those who are very quick to manipulate the processes. There will never be a situation where we will allow people to thrive on personal interest to the detriment of the ANC,” says Mkhize.

Mkhize also condemned tensions between ANC and SACP members in Nchanga, west of Durban. Recently three people, including an ANC leader in the area and an SACP supporter were killed in two separate incidents. Mkhize says fighting for positions is a tendency that has eroded the organisation’s traditions.

“We urge you to work together to deal with all these tensions and things we read about in newspapers. There can never be an explanation why we should a have a situation where it appears that members of the alliance are fighting among each other. We were quite shocked to see the deaths in Nchanga; it can never be that people can fight on the basis of fighting for positions when we are all members of the same organisation,” says the party’s Treasurer-General.

Meanwhile KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu says the organisation has a responsibility to value and salute the sacrifices made by former MK combatants.

“Even though they did not signal freedom on the spot but they raised the hope of millions and millions of people that freedom was around the corner at last. You comrades, MK veterans, you remain the hope of many comrades who feel the pain of the erosion.” The late ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli was among several people given a special award posthumously. His daughter Dr. Albertina Luthuli received it on his behalf.

– By Vusi Makhosini

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