Carl Niehaus wants Fikile Mbalula to show ‘respect’ after ‘MK thugs’ claim

13 October 2020 - 10:18 By unathi nkanjeni
Carl Niehaus has called Fikile Mbalula to order after the minister labelled some in the MKMVA 'thugs'.
Carl Niehaus has called Fikile Mbalula to order after the minister labelled some in the MKMVA 'thugs'.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus has slammed Fikile Mbalula for labelling some of the association's members “thugs”.

In a series of tweets on Monday, the transport minister claimed that certain members of the association were “thugs calling themselves veterans”.

This comes after the association in Gauteng marched against Mbalula, demanding he be arrested for the country's almost defunct train service. The minister hit back at the calls and said he was being targeted for “closing the taps” on alleged corruption at Prasa.

In response to Mbalula's tweets, Niehaus claimed the minister should respect those who fought against the apartheid government.

“You don’t call MK cadres, many of them much older than you, thugs,” he said. “Some of these cadres are old enough to be your parents. These are cadres who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, yours too, and are suffering neglect and poverty. Respect!”

Niehaus also called on Mbalula to apologise and retract his comments.

“As a member of the NEC of MKMVA, and national spokesperson of MKMVA I will be negligent in my duties to let this appalling tweet by you, minister Mbalula, go unchallenged. You must retract and apologise!”

According to eNCA, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said Mbalula should have used the ANC's internal platforms to address his issues.

“If the minister has been aggravated by certain statements in the past, he should be using platforms of the organisation because clearly you could pick up from the tweets that there are matters of aggravation which need to be ventilated within the organisation,” he said.