Gupta's are friends of MKMVA - Kebby Maphatsoe

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said at a press conference at Luthuli House on Tuesday that the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and in particular it's treasurer Des van Rooyen, should not have spoken out about the Hawks/Gordhan issue in public.

MKMVA's Kenny Maphatsoe, also the Deputy Minister of Defence, spoke to Stephen Grootes about Mantashe's comments.

We as MKMVA are an integral part of the African National Congress, and we respect the decisions of the highest structures, like the National Working Committee. But some of the views that were reflected yesterday, we thought it was proper for the SG or the NWC to call us as MKMVA to get our side of the story.

Kebby Maphatsoe, MKMVA

Maphatsoe says what MKMVA said on Monday is no different from what the ANC is saying.

He says the Hawks have been unfairly under attack for a long time and everyone is defending the Finance Minister. MKMVA felt the Hawks needed defending as well.

Let us respect the Rule of Law, let us respect the Hawks as they are doing good work for our country.

Kebby Maphatsoe, MKMVA

He says Des van Rooyen was mandated to speak by the NWC of MKMVA and has every right to express the views of the organisation.

Maphatsoe reiterated that the Gupta family are "friends of MKMVA" and their relationship will not change.

If they are attacked unfairly, we will defend them

Kebby Maphatsoe, MKMVA

They have seen no proof of any Gupta wrong-doing, he added, asking "why are you attacking this family?". He says MKMVA see the attacks as racist and xenophobic.

Last week in the case with former intelligence boss Ronnie Kasrils, Maphatsoe admitted he had lied. Grootes asked him if this called into question his credibility as a leader to speak in public.

Maphatsoe denied this and refused to discuss issues raised in the courts last week. He says anyone who wants to know about his history and credibility can go to the offices of the ANC or MKMVA and find out.

Meanwhile, he says, he was elected internally within MKMVA to serve as chairperson.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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