Carl Niehaus arrives in Nkandla, says ANC cannot disband MKMVA
Carl Niehaus is adamant that the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is not disbanded, and that the ANC had no right to disband it.
Dressed in civilian clothing, with no ANC regalia visible, Niehaus arrived in Nkandla and addressed media outside former president Jacob Zuma's home shortly after 8pm on Wednesday — just hours before the police's deadline to arrest Zuma for being in contempt of a Constitutional Court order.
Niehaus, a staunch Zuma backer, was also suspended by the ANC, for bringing the party into disrepute.
He said the MKMVA's national executive committee held a meeting on Wednesday evening where it was decided that they would continue with their mandate to represent military veterans.
“The ANC has no right to disband MKMVA. I am coming out of a meeting with the national executive of the MKMVA. Various decisions were taken there. The NEC of MKMVA reaffirmed that they do not accept that suspension.
“The MKMVA is an autonomous association; MKMVA is not a league like the youth league and the women's league. The ANC has no legal authority to suspend MKMVA.
“The NEC of MKMVA reaffirmed that it would continue to proceed as MKMVA, do its work and service the members of MKMVA who are ex-military combatants of uMkhonto weSizwe,” he said.
He accused the ANC's NEC of acting in an emotional and vindictive manner because of the clear and unequivocally support that they have for Zuma.
He said he could not confirm Zuma's whereabouts and had not been in touch with the former president the entire day.
“I am aware that his legal team is engaging with authorities. I spoke to advocate [Dali] Mpofu a few minutes ago, before arriving in Nkandla,” he said.
He reiterated that MKMVA members would act within the law should police attempt to arrest Zuma.
“It is not wrong and not incitement to violence to express our opposition to that attempted arrest of Zuma. It is my right and my organisation's right to do so and we will execute that right to the fullest.”
He said he was concerned at reports of a large contingent of police gathered in Eshowe, near Zuma's Nkandla home.
“It seems there is an intention to come in the small hours of the night, in the dark, to come and arrest (former) president Zuma. That is the impression that we have. We sincerely hope that that impression is wrong.”