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Mbalula will not speak at ANC events until he apologises, says Maphatsoe

Fikile Mbalula went on a Twitter rant on Monday, describing both the MKMVA president and its spokesperson Carl Niehaus as 'suspected criminals'.

uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association president Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe on Monday said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula would not speak at an African National Congress (ANC) event again at least until he apologises for calling some members “thugs”.

Mbalula went on a Twitter rant on Monday, describing both the MKMVA president and its spokesperson Carl Niehaus as “suspected criminals”.

He accused them of colluding with ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule to bring the ANC down.

ANC reprimands Mbalula over scathing tweets about Maphatsoe, Niehaus

While the ANC acknowledged that attacks on Mbalula were not new, it believes he erred when taking to Twitter with his frustrations.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said Mbalula would be reprimanded. He said the claims made by Mbalula were serious and would be dealt with internally.

“But if cadres of the ANC have certain information about their own comrades, they should use the platforms of the organisation as far as such,” Mabe said.

Meanwhile, Maphatsoe said although insults were not new to him, Mbalula attacked the structure.

He warned that the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member would not be able to speak in public without first making an apology.

“Wherever he is, we will make sure that he stands up and apologises in front of the people. If he does not do that, he will never address any meeting,” Maphatsoe said.

He insisted the latest rail demonstrations were not factional, but out of genuine concern over the dilapidating state of the country’s railways.

MBALULA SLAMS MAPHATSOE AND NIEHAUS

Meanwhile, Mbalula said his department would not give in to nefarious agendas.

He blamed Maphatsoe and Niehaus for being behind “ill-conceived” actions in retaliation to attempts by his department to clean up the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

The rants on Twitter played out while protesting members of the MKMVA in Gauteng called for Mbalula to be arrested over the termination of security contracts at Prasa.

Mbalula, sticking to his guns, released a statement not offering an apology but asking the public not to be hoodwinked by those seeking to advance personal interests.

Hitting out at the MKMVA president and spokesperson, he said it was unfortunate that they hide behind ANC structures to camouflage their agenda.

Mbalula insisted the security contracts which were terminated were irregular and decisive action was needed.

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