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ANC stalwarts distance themselves from 'military' group outside Luthuli House

On Friday a group of people claiming to belong to the MKMVA surrounded the ANC’s headquarters during the DA's anti-Zuma march.

Scores of ANC MKMVA members stand guard outside Chief Albert Luthuli House in Johannesburg's CBD in a show of solidarity with President Jacob Zuma as marches against the president carry on across the country on 7 April 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress’ (ANC) stalwarts group says people who dressed in military fatigues around Luthuli House on Friday have insulted their fallen heroes, and that their ages expose them as too young to have ever served in uMkhonto we Sizwe.

On Friday, a group of people claiming to belong to the MKMVA surrounded the ANC’s headquarters, while Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters marched against President Jacob Zuma in the Johannesburg CBD.

The ANC stalwarts say South Africans live in a constitutional democracy and that they don’t need private armies to defend their movement.

The group says it wants to know who these people are who believe that anyone can dress up as though they fought apartheid in their military wing.

Former MK commander and former head of the South African National Defense Force general Siphiwe Nyanda says he hadn’t seen those people in uniform before.

“I certainly don’t know any of those people there. I saw young people guarding the house and I know the secretary general of the ANC refused to meet them and I think it was the correct thing.”

Nyanda added: “Obviously people could just be talking because I don’t know anybody who’s got 600 combat troops ready, except the South African military; I think it’s just big talk.”

The group says this crisis is not just about the president - but about the entire ANC.

In addition, the stalwarts say the disruptions caused by the ANC Youth League members to Ahmed Kathrada's memorial service on Sunday are an insult to his memory.

The group also says the current political crisis and those who've created it reach deep into the very fabric of the society and is based on an unquenchable need for power and money.

The stalwarts say that if the ANC does not create unity based on the interests of everyone, it will be punished by the people who supported it during the fight against apartheid.

They added that senior ANC leaders would not be criticising the situation in the party unless the crisis they faced did not involve a president who was part of a project to collapse the constitutional separation of state and party, and who says there is no crisis.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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