Transport Minister and ANC NEC member has launched a blistering attack on the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) for calling for his arrest.
He was reacting to a Gauteng MKMVA march to the Premier’s office on Monday to highlight the plight of “poor and forgotten freedom fighters.”
The MKMVA protesters also called for Mbalula’s arrest, citing the “damaged railway network” and “plight of truck and taxi drivers.” They said only seven of the 34 Metrorail commuter lines are operating in South Africa.
The SA National Civic Organisation (SANCO) Gauteng, Congress of SA Students (COSAS) Gauteng and SA National Cargo Transport and Drivers Association (SANCATDRA) joined the march.
‘Threatening rule of law’
Writing on Twitter on Monday, Mbalula took aim at MKMVA President Kebby Maphatsoe and national spokesperson Carl Niehaus, accusing them of “organising marches threatening the rule of law [sic].”
He called Niehaus “a well-known thug employed by [ANC Secretary-General Ace] Magashule at Luthuli House.”
In a series of tweets, Mbalula added, “Kebby Maphatsoe ran away from the camps, that is why he’s got one hand. He lost his hand from cowardice, not in a fight against apartheid. COWARD.
“They organise tired self defence units and they call themselves MK with old Gupta-sponsored camouflage uniform. It’s even worn out.
“I’m not afraid of them. [Former President] Jacob Zuma, Carl Niehaus, Kebby Maphatsoe, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Ace Magashule and your biggest friend Guptas. Your efforts to bring down ANC failed; we are 57 percent in power.”
‘Closed the taps at PRASA’
Mbalula further claimed his “sin” was to “close the taps” at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA). “PRASA was your milking cow. I have closed the taps; that is my sin. You used to do as you wish with fake security companies,” he claimed.
Niehaus replied to some of Mbalula’s tweets and asked the Minister to apologise for calling MKMVA members “thugs.”
“You don’t call MK cadres, many of them much older than you, thugs. Some of these cadres are old enough to be your parents. These are cadres who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, yours too, and are suffering neglect and poverty. RESPECT!” he tweeted.