NEWS
09/04/2018 05:25 SAST | Updated 09/04/2018 05:25 SAST

'Reckless Shooting' At Madikizela-Mandela Home 'Not Revolutionary,' Says MKMVA

MKMVA has distanced itself from reports its members fired shots in the air outside the late stalwart's home.

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Members of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) hold flags as they arrive at the home of the late Winnie Mandela in Soweto, South Africa, April 4, 2018.

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has distanced itself from reports that its members fired shots outside the home of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

"We call on all our members to refrain from any such actions, and to report any person ... who behaves in this ill-disciplined manner to the relevant authorities," said national spokesperson Carl Niehaus on Sunday.

Police said they were investigating the incident which apparently took place outside Madikizela-Mandela's home on Friday night.

There was a strong police presence outside the home on Saturday morning.

"As MKMVA we embrace uMama Winnie as one of our very own Commanders and Cadres.

"That discipline can never condone the reckless shooting of arms into the air - especially not in civilian and populated areas where lives can be endangered and injuries can be sustained.

"Such behaviour is not revolutionary, and MKMVA distances ourselves and all our members from it," Niehaus said.

Niehaus said they supported the police investigations into the matter and that those responsible should be arrested.

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He said the leadership of the Johannesburg region sent out a SMS on Tuesday, warning their members to "refrain from any shooting in the air, and to mourn the death of our icon and Commander with disciplined dignity and respect".

On Saturday night, Minister of Police Bheki Cele said the shots were fired 2kms from the home.

"MK members should not be doing this. We are dealing with this matter and dealing with the ex-combatants. In the morning I confirmed nobody was injured," he said.

He said police were in the area earlier in the day to pick up spent cartridges.

Those found to be shooting rounds in the air would be arrested and face the consequences, he said, adding police had beefed up security in the area with Tactical Response Teams (TRT) patrolling.

"We have pushed up the deployments in the area. We have TRT here and on Vilikazi street, so people can enjoy life without interference."

Cele said that he would personally meet with ex-combatants of the MKMVA. He said he had met with ex-combatant commanders earlier in the day.

-- News24