The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has thrown its support behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over as African National Congress president in December.
“Branches of the ANC are the ones who are going to decide who becomes president of the ANC. We respect comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as one of the leaders of the ANC‚ but our preference has always been comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma succeeding [President Jacob Zuma]‚” association chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe told The Times on Sunday on the sidelines of its 5th elective national conference in Ekurhuleni.
He said they were confident that the ANC’s branches would elect Dlamini-Zuma as ANC president.
The association was hit by divisions when some senior members boycotted Zuma’s address on Friday.
Those members are former MKMVA deputy chairperson Teenage Monama; general secretary Dumisani Nduli; deputy general secretary Tshidiso Paka and NEC member Ike Moroe – who snubbed what they called an “unconstitutional conference”.
Zuma’s critics within the MKMVA wanted the conference to be canned‚ with those who made the calls led by the MK Veterans National Council.
Former South African National Defence Force head Siphiwe Nyanda leads the council. Last week‚ Nyanda criticised the MKMVA conference as a means to sow further divisions within the ANC and accused some MKVA members of not being legitimate members‚ asserting they were recruited “from the streets”.
Present at the MKMVA event was Minister of Small Businesses and Development Lindiwe Zulu‚ along with State Security Minister David Mahlobo.
Zulu said: “The NEC of the ANC concluded that this conference must go ahead. Hence there was a deployment of some NEC members.”