Former MK commanders call for new blood in the ANC

They’ve called for the ruling party to confront what they say is the diminishing quality of ANC cadres.

FILE: An ANC supporter waves his party's colours at the 104 years celebration in Grabouw. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A collective of former African National Congress (ANC) military commanders say they are outraged by recent political developments within the ANC, which include the removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister, the public spat between the Hawks and Pravin Gordhan and verbal attacks on the deputy finance minister.

The commanders include former head of the South African National Defence Force General Siphiwe Nyanda, Mavuso Msimang, Mongezi India, Moe Shaik and Snuki Zikalala as well as several other prominent Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) leaders.

Together they've called for the ruling party to convene a special national congress to elect new leadership - and confront what they say is the diminishing quality of ANC cadres.

This letter was handed to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on the first day of the party's national executive committee (NEC).

In it, the MK commanders say they did not hesitate to shed their quota of blood while fighting for South Africa's liberation.

But they now feel that the party's nation building project has been compromised, and a climate of fear and helplessness over what the future holds now reigns.

The commanders have asked the ANC's leadership for an explanation on why Nhlanhla Nene was moved to what they say is a junior post in the National Development Bank.

They also want to know what influence the Gupta family holds over the governing party and whether any private arrangements between them and ANC leaders exist.

The commanders say they believe they speak for all senior active and former MK members and those deployed to government.

They say they want a judge to head the commission and notable members of society should be on the panel.

Signatory of the letter and the last MK chief of staff general Nyanda says the commanders are outraged.

Nyanda says they need an independent investigation.

"That inquiry should involve prominent members of society who will be capable of carrying out their mandate without fear or favour, because a judicial commission of inquiry - we don't know whether the president will set the terms and what happens to the term, whether they'lll change midstream."

Mantashe has acknowledged receipt of the letter but has yet to respond to the demands.

To read the full memorandum by Umkhonto we Sizwe commanders, click here.

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