Maphatsoe sends stern warning to Hawks & NPA detractors

Kebby Maphatsoe says these critics are playing in the hands of enemies who want regime change.

Head of the African National Congress' (ANC) military veterans league Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: dmv.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG - Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe has sent a stern warning against those who attack the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), saying if they continue, they will cause a constitutional crisis.

The deputy minister of defense was addressing the South African National Military Veterans Association's National General Council in Boksburg yesterday.

While criticism from various sectors of society have been leveled against the Hawks and the NPA for charging Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Maphatsoe says these critics are playing in the hands of enemies who want regime change.

He says if the criticism continues, it will weaken state institutions.

"Once you continue attacking them relentlessely, you're creating a situation whereby they will end up being demoralised and not being able to perform their duties."

Struggle stalwarts such as Ahmed Kathrada, Barbra Hogan, Frene Ginwala and Andrew Mlangeni amongst others have come out in support of Gordhan, calling him a respected man and questioning the credibility of the charges against him, with some labeling them as being politically motivated.

ZWANE RALLIES BEHIND GORDHAN

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said he supports Gordhan, who faces fraud charges next Wednesday.

Speaking to Eyewitness News on the sidelines of the South African Veterans Association national general council, Zwane said colleagues in government must support each other.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his moral and political support for Gordhan, along with ministers including Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom and Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor.

Minister Zwane was asked if he also supports the finance minister.

"I work with him, whenever he has problems we normally support each other. I also believe in this case there will be no difference."

He was also asked if he agrees with Maphastsoe that the Hawks and NPA are being targeted.

"There is a lot of noise that will not take us anywhere, so I believe we should refuse to be drawn into these petty issues."

He said challenges currently facing the country require soberness from everyone.

At the same time, more than 100 African National Congress (ANC) veterans have called on the ruling party to embark on a corrective process to reclaim the trust of society and what it calls "moral high ground" before it's too late.

The group includes Trevor Manuel, Essop Pahad, Kathrada and Mlangeni.

The veterans say they have a profound responsibility to the movement and country, to ensure that the principles and values of the ANC are not destroyed.

They say communities increasingly see self-enrichment, corruption, nepotism and the abuse of power communities when they look to the ANC for leadership and who they should serve.

The group adds the moral high ground that the ruling party enjoyed is being lost and must be saved before it's too late.

It's understood the veterans held a meeting this week after a lackluster response from President Jacob Zuma and Secretary General Gwede Mantashe to their letters "and individual attempts to engage on an introspection process''.