- Military veterans are fixing to take President Cyril Ramaphosa to court over unpaid benefits, including pension and housing
- The 2 000 vets have voiced their expectations of R4 million in compensation from the government when payments are processed in April
- South Africans on social media were not impressed with the veterans' demands, with some labelling the demands as unreasonable
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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's military veterans plan to proceed with representative action against President Cyril Ramaphosa over unpaid benefits.
About 2 000 former members of uMkhonto we Sizwe, Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) and Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA) are demanding a sum of R4 million each in compensation from the government.
The group claims Ramaphosa ignored their request for reparations and benefits, including pension, housing, and medical aid, adding they were excluded in the calculations and impending disbursement of their payments.
SABC News reported the first round of grant payments is expected in April but the vets insist the process will be flawed. This, the group's lawyer Andries Nkome said, was because the necessary inputs would not have been submitted.
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"The veterans will not accept benefits that Ramaphosa has decided on his own, without confirming that the expectation they have of R4 million per person is what they will get from 1 April," said Nkome.
"Ramaphosa mentioned this on several occasions in parliament. However, we're pursuing this course of action because he hasn't indicated how much they'll be getting. Why is he not including them in the calculations?"
Mail&Guardian reported that the relationship between the government and ex-combatants has been a convoluted and tumultuous one, with the latter expressing frustration over their treatment.
South Africans have a say
On social media, onlookers expressed opposing views, with some people citing the veterans were wasting their time. Briefly News takes a look at some of the reactions below.
@Lucky Seoe wrote:
"For as long as the ANC is in power there will never be stability in SA because corruption and divisions are too deep in the organization that it will be almost impossible for the renewal programs to accomplish their objective."
@Make-peace Motaung said:
"But, it's not like when the veterans were fighting we just stood and did nothing. Can we also sue the government for R4 million each?"
@Jose Alves added:
"South Africa is becoming increasingly unstable. There are predictions, by some economic think tanks, that SA will be a failed state by 2030."
Government rejects 'jobless' military veterans' R4 million demands
Elsewhere, Briefly News on 1 September reported that the Military Veterans Association put forward the hefty demand for a once-off payment of R4 million from the government.
This request was previously declined after the vets pushed to have their members compensated for the sacrifices they made during apartheid. Thabang Makwetla, the deputy minister of defence and military veterans, revealed this during a portfolio committee meeting in parliament, TimesLIVE reported.
Briefly News understands veterans have had long-standing grievances around unemployment and a general lack of housing. One of the points of contention has been the nonpayment of other benefits to veterans and their families.
Source: Briefly News