STATEMENT BY MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND
Department of Military Veterans refutes Kwa-Zulu
Natal allegations published in the Sowetan
on 16 November 2010
Date of release 16 November 2010
The Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans
condemns the regrettable statement against
assistance offered to destitute military
veterans, issued by MKMVA in Kwa-Zulu Natal
purportedly on behalf of MKMVA members in
We deem the remarks criticizing the
distribution of food hampers campaign to
destitute military veterans as unfortunate,
misleading and grossly irresponsible.
The tone of the statement only seeks to
perpetuate the hardships and sufferings of
veterans who cannot help themselves and who
value the difference that this modest gesture,
sponsored by MTN, seeks to make for them and
their dependants who received this assistance
with appreciation and relief.
The level of enthusiasm and overwhelming
response from affected veterans throughout the
country has been humbling and encouraging; this
includes last week’s function which we regard as
being successful judging by the number of
veterans who submitted their names for receiving
It is also worth-noting that this initiative
and appeal for this gesture emanated from within
MK ranks and subsequently the department of
military veterans engaged MTN to act as a
sponsor and conscientious corporate citizen in
the endeavour to be relevant to the many needs
in our communities, in partnership with
The campaign is targeting a specific and
limited group within the broader veterans’
constituency, namely, those who have no means to
fend for themselves and condemned to wretched
lives because of the hardships they face daily.
The level of enthusiasm and the demand generated
by this campaign in all provinces goes against
the posturing espoused in the media statement.
It is idle-talk and pranking by those with full
stomachs to say “half a loaf” is worse than no
bread at all.
The allegation that the food items are
recycled is also devoid of truth and far fetched
because all items are non-perishable and
constitute dry rations procured by MTN from
In essence, the nobility of the sacrifices of
those who fought for freedom and our democracy
derives from the fact that they did not do it
for themselves, and no one has the right to
distort this virtue, as the KZN MKMVA
individuals seek to do, to the embarrassment of
all those who fought to free our country.
We therefore view the remarks and the tone of
the media statement as bordering on ignorance
and lack of interest with regard to the on-going
developments and steps that the department of
Military Veterans has taken in order to profile
the challenges and possible solutions to deal
with the plight of veterans.
In his address to the veterans in KZN last
week, the Deputy Minister of Defence and
military veterans, Thabang Makwetla, mentioned
that government is on the verge of rolling out a
comprehensive set of long term benefits and
support to the veterans’ constituency pending an
allocation by national treasury.
He highlighted that the 2010 Military
Veterans bill, adopted by cabinet and to be
processed by parliament, is heralding a new era
demonstrating government’s commitment to address
the plight of veterans.
The Department once again calls on all
corporate enterprises with the means to assist
government to meet the many needs of Military
Veterans to come forward and be counted.