'SA can't be dictated to by tea parties': Kathrada Foundation slams MK vets 'protecting' Zuma

19 February 2021 - 10:00 By unathi nkanjeni
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has slammed MK Vets camping outside former president Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has slammed MK Vets camping outside former president Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

“A cohort of the former president’s supporters beginning to behave like a paramilitary outfit in a bid to prevent the law from taking its course.”

These are the words Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's executive director, Neeshan Balton, used to describe uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) members camping outside Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead to prevent his potential arrest.

This week, “military veterans” vowed to “protect” Zuma from arrest by setting up camp outside his Nkandla homestead “until further notice”.

In a statement on Thursday, Balton said such “undemocratic acts” were usually reserved for “desperate tin-pot dictators” and that the country should be concerned..

He said Zuma's behaviour in defying a Constitutional Court order to appear before the state capture inquiry meant that he is “simply not interested in the rule of law, public accountability and justice”.

“We have to ask who are these supposed military veterans that are willing to prevent constitutionally mandated law enforcement agencies from carrying out their duties.

“What are the consequences should this occur, not just for the individuals involved and those organising the group, but for our democracy? And what does the political party that they claim to represent say and do?” Balton asked.

He said SA could not be dictated to by “anti-democratic behaviour” and “tea parties”.

“Our country cannot be dictated by an ongoing evasion of justice, business people who have the money to fund political parties and politicians in exchange for favours, and by thugs masquerading as champions of the poor,” said Balton.

“We can ill-afford the destructive politics of self-interest, particularly as we deal with a global pandemic, a weak and skewed economy, unemployment and poverty, the impact of corruption and capture, and other social ills.

“As individuals and collectives across various sectors we should continue raising our voice against all those who seek to undermine our democracy.”

On Wednesday, former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa also took a dig at the military veterans, saying they would only leave Zuma's premises once the food runs out.

Tlala o nyele. Re ja dikgomo le dipudi tsa Msholozi [Hunger is gone. We will eat Msholozi's cattle and goats],” joked Shilowa.