Back in April, when President Zuma confined us to junk status, the Democratic Alliance (DA) sought permission to march through the Johannesburg CBD in protest. The African National Congress Youth League (Youth League) and some branches threatened violence against the marchers if they came near Luthuli House, the ANC’s headquarters. The most startling sight was that of uMkhonto we Sizwe Veterans Association (MKMVA)’s militia, otherwise known as “Zuma’s private army”, drilling in front of Luthuli House. They were attired in military camouflage with khaki belts, black military boots and predominantly black berets. The DA dropped its plans to march on Luthuli House on April 3, so the need to “defend” Luthuli House fell away. Still, about 600 MK “veterans” assembled outside the ruling party’s headquarters. Two days earlier, amid calls for Zuma to step down, the KZN chairperson of the MKMVA, Themba Mavundla, had said the organisation would deploy more than 600 “combatants” to Luthuli Hous...

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