MK veterans block road, call on ANC to help 'disgruntled comrades'
The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has called on the ANC to come to a resolution regarding the plight of its “sick and unemployed” members.
On Monday, a group of MKMVA members took to the N12 freeway, east of Johannesburg, to get the ruling party’s attention.
Ekurhuleni metropolitan police department (EMPD) spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng said the group blocked roads with cars, minibus taxis and trucks.
“The protest occurred between 5am and 6.30am. Motor vehicles were abandoned on purpose to prevent other motorists from accessing the roads,” Mokheseng said.
He said the freeway was later cleared and traffic was flowing.
“We managed to remove the vehicles and we are monitoring the situation," Mokheseng said
MKMVA spokesperson Kebby Maphatsoe said the protest was part of the association's rolling mass action which started in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago.
“The protests are going to continue and will spread to other parts of the country. This is because of the plight of ex-combatants. Comrades are disgruntled,” Maphatsoe told TimesLIVE on Monday.
“Comrades are dying. Some are sick but they cannot take their medication. They have told me the medication makes them hungry and they do not have food. Some say they would rather stop the medication and die.”
He said the association had tried unsuccessfully to engage with the ANC.
“We are saying to the ANC: listen to us and implement a resolution. We’ve tried our best and our comrades are losing their patience.”
Maphatsoe said the association was raising issues that have been raised by society at large.
“People are unemployed. The infighting within the ANC is making the leaders lose focus on important issues. Our protest has been joined by truck drivers and unemployed graduates, who also feel neglected.”