Dozens arrested at veterans protest

Over 10 people were injured when MK and Azapo veterans demanded that government fulfil decade-old promises.

FILE: The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) marched to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's office to handover a memorandum, 27 May 2009. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

GERMISTON - About 80 protesters were arrested on Monday for their involvement in a violent protest outside the Germiston Civic Centre where Ekurhuleni Mayor Mondli Gungubele refused to address them.

The protestors, who are military veterans of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and the Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo), forced their way into the building, damaging doors, windows, and equipment.

Warning of scenes similar to the Marikana tragedy last year, the group said they would not back down until government addressed their demands.

These included the fulfilment of promises they claim the ANC made to them 11 years ago, including government subsidies for their contribution to the struggle and to be integrated into the police and military.

They said they had letters from government to prove their claims.

The remaining 70 protestors who had not been arrested said they would not stop until they too were taken into custody.

The group said they would not be voting or campaigning for the ANC ahead of the 2014 general election.

They also warned that if the dispute was not resolved they would not allow any ballot papers to be dropped off in their townships.

More than 10 people were injured during the demonstration.