Veterans must uphold constitution: Mapisa-Nqakula takes a swipe at MKMVA

17 February 2021 - 20:36
Former president Jacob Zuma with members of the MKMVA at his Nkandla homestead. Among the recent visitors were MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe, left, and spokesperson Carl Niehaus. File photo
Former president Jacob Zuma with members of the MKMVA at his Nkandla homestead. Among the recent visitors were MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe, left, and spokesperson Carl Niehaus. File photo
Image: Supplied

Defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Wednesday took a veiled swipe at the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA).

Nqakula, during the parliamentary joint sitting debate on the state of the nation address, said military veterans ought to uphold the highest values of discipline and order in the country.

Her comments come in the wake of the MKMVA's continued support for former president Jacob Zuma in his defiance of the Constitutional Court and the Zondo commission.

This week, MKMVA members have been stationed outside Zuma's home in Nkandla and feasting on fresh meat from the former president's herd.

The stakeout followed a visit to Zuma by MKMVA's top leadership including its president Kebby Maphatsoe and treasurer-general Des van Rooyen.

According to the MKMVA, they are camping at Kwadakwadunuse homestead to protect and defend Zuma from arrest for his contempt of the Constitutional Court which ordered him to appear at the Zondo commission this week.

Mapisa-Nqakula, a military veteran in her own right, said veterans should avoid being used in a “counterrevolution”. 

“Whatever challenges we may be having as military veterans, and I am saying this being a military veteran myself, military veterans should never find themselves in situations where they are used to show divisions of counterrevolution in a country,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

“Military veterans are an investment of any country, military veterans should strive all the time to make sure that there is peace and stability in a country alongside members of the defence force. Military veterans should forever uphold the constitution of the Republic of South Africa.”

Mapisa Nqakula praised the role played by members of the defence force since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The SANDF would continue to play a key role in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, she said.

Said Mapisa-Nqakula: “As we continue the fight against the pandemic, our focus should include measures under way to acquire and provide the necessary vaccines as directed by the interministerial committee (IMC) on vaccines, led by the deputy president.

“As the defence establishment we have committed to be involved in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines as per IMC plans.”

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