The office of Cape Town mayor and DA leader Helen Zille has dismissed threats by the Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in the Western Cape to “take up arms” if Zille continues to hound ANC president Jacob Zuma.
The threats came after Zille filed an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court on Monday for a review of the bombshell National Prosecuting Authority announcement that charges against Zuma were to be dropped.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the MKMVA said they would not tolerate Zille’s “disrespect” for Zuma and “continual undermining” of the ANC.
In comments strikingly similar to controversial statements made by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema last year that the youth were prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma, the MK statement went on to say that attempting to drag Zuma back to court was “nothing less than a declaration of war”.
“Zille and her croneys in Cope should not forget that MK soldiers died for this democracy and are not afraid to put their lives in the line for our beloved country again.”
Contacted for comment, MKMVA provincial secretary Desmond Stevens denied, however, that the organisation was threatening violence.
“We are not threatening violence but we are just saying that in defence of our democracy and president we would take up arms like we did during the apartheid era.”
He said: “It is everyone’s right to take matters to court but she has this continued hatred for Zuma and we must not forget that she is a beneficiary of the apartheid system.”
But Frits de Klerk, spokesperson for Helen Zille, said the DA and Zille were not scared of the threats.
“The DA is trying to strengthen and build democracy and we know that South Africans see right through MKMVA threats,” he said.
De Klerk said Zille was campaigning in the Southern Cape when they had heard of the statement. But he said they regarded the threat as “serious and a crime”.
“We will give it the necessary attention,” he said.
ANC provincial chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha defended the MKMVA statement.
He denied the veterans were threatening violence.
“We are in a constitutional democracy so there is no need for violence. But if they try to overthrow our government then we will take up arms.” — West Cape News