'ANC divisions and factionalism provide fertile ground for external attacks'

Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran Joel Netshitenze says opportunists will take advantage if the ANC gives them the platform.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran Joel Netshitenze said the African National Congress (ANC) needs to ask itself whether the divisions within the party are not the reason why it makes it easy to attack the movement.

Netshitenze was speaking at the MK veteran’s national council in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg on Saturday.

The ANC veteran spoke of the ruling party’s poor performance during the elections and says the continued interference at state institutions shows that the beneficiaries of state capture will not give up without a fight.

Netshitenze says unity in the ruling party must be restored.

“And we need to ask ourselves a question, especially as the ANC, is it not our divisions that make these incursions possible?”

He says opportunists will take advantage if the ANC gives them the platform.

“Within South Africa itself, you can stand on top of roof tops and talk about imperialism and regime change, but if you yourself create opportunity for the opportunists, they will take advantage.”

Netshitenze has lamented the state of Congress of South African Trade Unions and describing it as a tragedy to have a once powerful movement be riddled by factionalism.


Another MK veteran, Siphiwe Nyanda, said it is up to the ANC to arrest the decline of the movement before the 2019 elections or risk being punished at the polls.

Earlier, military veterans’ association leader Kebby Maphatsoe and Des van Rooyen asked members not to participate in the gathering as it does not fall within the structures of the ANC.

President Jacob Zuma, who is also an MK veteran, had given his blessing to the council but was not present due to prior commitments in KwaZulu-Natal.

Nyanda said they will not let the movement die without a fight.

“And those who pursue a path that will lead us to ruins, if they do, the ANC will surely die. But let it not be said that the ANC died without us trying to help.”

ANC veteran Joel Netshitenze agreed.

“If you do not correct these weaknesses that are there in the ANC, wait for 2019 and we’ll punish you even more.”

The two Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans urged delegates to ask critical questions about the state of the ANC, which they say may be dying a slow painful death.


Netshitenze said the continued political interference at state institutions shows that those who are beneficiaries of state capture, and corruption will not give up without a fight.

He said the municipal election results have proven that if the ANC does not resolve its internal issues it faces the possibility of further punishment at the national polls in 2019.

The MK veteran saids if opportunists are given the platform, they will take advantage.

“From the strange things that are happening; from the South African Revenue Service involving the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority, Denel and so on, a cabinet statement by a cabinet minister that never was; all these terrors show you that the beneficiaries of corruption and state capture will not give up without a fight.”

At the same time, Nyanda said the beneficiaries of state capture are likely to try and subvert their efforts.

“We may well be ignored. Our efforts may well be frustrated by those who have an interest in preserving the status quo.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)