Family of late Umkhonto weSizwe commander bans Zuma’s MK party from visiting gravesite
The family of the late Umkhonto weSizwe commander Peter ‘Dambuza’ Malada as well as the foundation which was formed to honour him, say they do not want his legacy to be distorted by allowing his name to be associated with former president Jacob Zuma’s MK party.
The late Umkhonto weSizwe commander Peter ‘Dambuza’ Malada’s family have expressed anger at attempts by former president Jacob Zuma’s new party to visit the slain hero’s gravesite in Limpopo.
Representative of the Malada family, Moses Malada believes that no political party should campaign at the expense of any of the late apartheid freedom fighters.
Speaking to Daily Maverick, Malada explained that the MK party’s plans to visit the gravesite of the late Umkhonto weSizwe militant in Limpopo was not arranged with the family and is completely against what he stood for.
“What fuelled the anger from the family is because they did not send a request let alone to the chief of the [Makonde] village, where he is buried. So, there is no permission whatsoever. We as the family are the ones who are supposed to go to the chief, we saw it on social media.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Ramaphosa slams ‘anti-transformation’ breakaway parties contesting the ANC
“It is quite clear that they want to use those who have passed and cannot speak for themselves to strengthen the party and convince people that it is the same MK as that of ANC. They should not try to do that at the expense of the people that have passed away, let them rest in peace. It does not matter which political party, even if it is the ANC they must respect the family and all requests must be done in the right way. We are not fighting a person or anything, we are just protecting the beliefs and ideas of the deceased,” he said.
There has been ongoing friction about the use of the ANC liberation military wing’s name by the new MK party, as the governing party has been dissatisfied by this new organisation using the same name and symbols as its military wing.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula this week said that the ruling party intended to challenge the new party, saying the name belonged to the ANC.
In a joint statement issued by the family and the Peter Dambuza Foundation on Tuesday, they distanced themselves from the MK party’s social media posts about their visit to Limpopo this weekend. They instead encouraged citizens to support the ANC calling the MK party’s actions “mischievous” and a “crude attempt to distort the true values of comrade Dambuza”.
Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC KZN condemns Zuma’s ‘gross ill-discipline’ for support of new party
“Whilst we acknowledge the challenges that our country is facing, we wish to emphasise that Peter Dambuza was a committed member of the ANC and its military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe and its ideals. In this regard, the Dambuza Foundation and the Malada family remain loyal to African National Congress, and we refuse that the name and legacy of commander Dambuza be abused to divide our beloved movement, the ANC.
“As the Malada family and the Peter Dambuza foundation, We therefore call upon the MK party to desist from political opportunism, in honour of comrade Dambuza’s memory,” the statement reads.
Zuma’s MK party has planned a series of events due to take place from Friday 19 January until Saturday 20 January. On Friday, party members were planning to visit the gravesite.
The late struggle hero died in 2020 after a short illness.
Malada joined the ANC military wing in 1977 and trained in several countries including Angola, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Cuba. He was involved in conflict with the apartheid regime at Mutale in 1977 and at the Sibasa police station in 1981.
Daily Maverick has asked the MK party to respond. This article will be updated accordingly. DM