MK Vets hint at legal action
THE three military veterans who were arrested for disrupting services at Mooi-Mpofana Municipality last week are threatening legal action after they were released without appearing in court on Monday.
The trio, who spent the weekend in police cells after they were arrested on Thursday, were scheduled to appear at the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court but were released after the matter was not enrolled.
The three prominent military veterans, former Mooi-Mpofana mayor Sifiso Mkhize, Makhosonke Madonsela and Mvuseni Chonco, were facing allegations of intimidation. They all referred The Witness to their organisation’s spokesperson for comment.
On Monday, Bruntville community members and other veterans who had come to support them learnt on their arrival at court that they had already been released.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele referred all queries to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The NPA’s KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, Natasha Kara, did not respond to queries.
Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) regional secretary Menzi Mkhize said it was clear that the arrest of the men was a tactic to intimidate them from continuing with their demands at Mooi-Mpofana Municipality.
The military veterans have locked horns with the municipality in recent weeks as they continue to demand more sites to build houses from the municipality and also want eight of the 13 technical services posts that were recently advertised by the municipality.
“You cannot lock me up for the whole weekend and then just let me go ... Clearly this is some form of punishment. Our reputation has been ruined already and we will make them pay for that,” Mkhize said, speaking on behalf of the trio.
Mkhize said they would continue fighting for what is due to them.
“These officials must implement the policies of the ANC. We have waited for far too long for them to deliver because we are disciplined.
“In other countries, whenever there has been a liberation struggle, military veterans get what is due to them. Here in South Africa we are being treated like a used dishcloth.
“We sacrificed a lot for this country but we are dying of hunger. This thing of neglecting military veterans is not only starting now, it started during the times of [Nelson] Mandela and then Thabo Mbeki.
“It was only under Jacob Zuma that the Military Veterans Department was established. But that department is also ineffective,” he said.
Mooi-Mpofana Municipality, which is under administration, referred all queries to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta). Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said what was important was that the municipality had taken the step of opening a case.