ANC rejects ‘irresponsible’ Maphatsoe and his views on 101 party veterans
The African National Congress has distanced itself from President Jacob Zuma defender Kebby Maphatsoe and his statements describing 101 ANC veterans as "irrelevant" and "without struggle credentials". The ruling party said on Friday that it “noted with great concern” Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association chairperson Maphatsoe’s statements about veterans of the movement.“It is alleged that Kebby questioned the struggle credentials of some of the veterans. This assertion is unfortunate‚ irresponsible and does not represent the views of the ANC. Our veterans remain the fountain of wisdom for the entire congress‚” said the ANC’s spokesperson Zizi Kodwa. The ANC veterans‚ including stalwarts such as Rivonia trialists Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni‚ and Frank Chikane‚ Frene Ginwala and Murphy Morobe‚ said on Thursday they had sought a meeting with Zuma since September without success.They called on ANC leadership to openly voice their unhappiness about the state of the party. They want Zuma to resign and the ANC to hold a special congress to elect new leadership.Kodwa said: “We have further noted the issues that stalwarts and veterans … have raised in the public domain. The ANC will continue engaging with respect and humility with all as we introspect and correct our movement in order to strengthen their own organisation – the ANC.”It emerged on Thursday that the veterans had the support of former president Thabo Mbeki‚ who wrote a letter to Zuma on Tuesday requesting him to give the veterans an audience.But Maphatsoe has dismissed the "so-called veterans"‚ saying they were attacking Zuma."Some of those veterans don't have good struggle credentials. Those who have good struggle credentials are sitting in the processes of the ANC‚" he said. "They are empty tins making noise there."In his letter‚ Mbeki said: "The point I am trying to emphasise is that it is imperative that all of us‚ including the current ANC NEC [national executive committee]‚ must understand that the 101 veterans are in fact eminent leaders of our movement and revolution and have to be respected and treated as such by those who occupy administrative positions as members of the NEC and other senior structures of the ANC."