'We've suffered a tragic loss': ANC honours late MKMVA leader Maphatsoe

The former deputy minister of defence and military veterans and head of the now-disbanded Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans' Association has been hailed for his courageous contribution to democracy.

The ANC on Wednesday arriving at the home of former MKMVA president and Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: Veronica Makhoali/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has paid tribute to the legacy of its long-serving member Kebby Maphatsoe.

The former deputy minister of defence and military veterans and head of the now-disbanded Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) has been hailed for his courageous contribution to democracy.

Maphatsoe died at the age of 58-year-old in his sleep on Tuesday.

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Members of the ruling party and the MKMVA gathered at Maphatsoe’s residence at the Meyersdal Nature Estate in Alberton to pay homage to the late MK veteran

Reflecting on his role and contribution to the movement, the party's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, said Maphatsoe was instrumental in the formation of the MKMVA.

“From the ANC’s side, it is a tragic loss because he played an enormous role in bringing together comrades from the community of MK veterans, even up to the last minute. It’s a tragic loss and we won’t recover from it quickly.”

Duarte said the welfare of military veterans was not only close to his heart, but he worked tirelessly to ensure their recognition and integration in the democratic South Africa.

“It’s quite sad because he had been very clear that the most important thing that he wanted to achieve was the welfare of former MK veterans and it’s laudable.”

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