A five-strong delegation from the SA National Military Veterans Organisation (SANMVA) met with both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans to plan the way forward for all the country’s veterans.
The major outcome is that SANMVA is the sole national representative organisation of the country corps of veterans as defined by the military Veterans Act of 2011. To ensure it maintains this position it has to hold its national congress by no later than September this year and remain the conduit for veterans to deal with the department headed by Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Thabang Makwetla.
This will see each of the founder members of SANMVA hold individual workshops ahead of the national congress.
SANMVA membership currently includes the MK Veterans Association, Apla Veterans Association and, through the Council of Military Veterans Organisations (CMVO), organisations such as the SA Air Force Association, the Gunners Association, the Infantry Association, Sappers Association and others.
The meeting with the national veterans’ organisation was the first for defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula since she took over from Lindiwe Sisulu in June last year. This does not mean the veterans’ side of the department has been neglected as it has been driven by Makwetla and Director General in the Department of Military Veterans, Tsepe Motumi.
The SANMVA delegation comprised president Kebby Maphatsoe, first deputy president Raymond Fihla, second deputy president Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, secretary general Dudu Pharma and deputy secretary general George Biya.
A SANMVS spokesman urged all veterans who do not yet belong to any representative veterans association or organisation to sign up without delay.
“This will ensure representation at the SANMVA national congress.”
According to the Military Veterans Act of 2011, a military veteran is “a South African citizen who rendered military service to any of the military organisations, which were involved on all the sides of South Africa’s liberation war from 1960 to 1994, those who served in the Union Defence Force before 1961, and those who became members of the South African National Defence Force after 1994, and has completed his/her military training and no longer performs military duties, and has not been dishonourably discharged from that military organisation.”
More information is available from secretary general Pharma on 082 785 4201 or [email protected]