The Spear of the Nation

Press statement by the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association

Press statement by the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association

11 September 2007

The Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) will, under the auspices of the African National Congress, hold its 3rd National Conference on 27 - 30 September 2007 in Gauteng. This Conference comes at a crucial moment in the life of the ANC.

The ANC has just concluded its successful National Policy Conference, which made important recommendations on issues relating to ex-MK combatants and military veterans in general. These recommendations will be discussed further at the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in December.

The MKMVA, as an integral part of the ANC, will at all times endeavour to ensure the preservation of the rich history, heritage and legacy of ex MK combatants.

In South Africa exist people who, at some stage in the history of our country, had to leave their families and friends to take up arms to ensure that all of us are free. When the time came in the history of our movement to choose between two options: to submit or to fight, young men and women, some only 12 years old, heeded the call to take up arms.

Many of these ex-combatants today feel marginalized by the post-1994 political dispensation that they helped to bring about. Ex-MK combatants feel that their challenges ought to be addressed and they should be integrated into the broader developmental agenda being pursued by our country.

Their grounding in ANC history and tradition affords the movement a fountain wherein it can draw wisdom as we continue with our transformation agenda and build towards the centenary of our movement. It is for all of these reasons that the theme for the conference is: "From Combat to Reconstruction and back to the Political Mainstream."

The ANC, through its Secretary General, has thanked all those in MKMVA structures, who, at their own personal sacrifice, have worked hard to make the organising of this forthcoming MKMVA national conference a success. In addition, the ANC pays tribute to all ex combatants and conveys its deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of all former combatants who have since passed on.

A meeting of ex-combatants held in February 2006 encouraged all former combatants and MKMVA members who have an interest to be in touch with their Regional and Provincial offices to ensure that they too become part of the process of holding a credible and transparent MKMVA National Conference.

Issued by:
Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association

For more information contact:
Dumisani Khoza on 084 786 1024