The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is one of those oddities particular to SA’s ramshackle democracy. It makes some sense, perhaps, to have a political umbrella under which those who “fought” for democracy can ruminate but, outside of that, what is it? More to the point, why is it?

It is odd for a number of reasons. First, unlike most political structures, it is self-terminating. Umkhonto we Sizwe — the real thing — was formed in 1961 and disbanded in 1993. At some point in the relative near future, its membership will cease to exist. That is an interesting dynamic.

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