Max Mkandla who is MLF,s organisation Secretary and war veteran was so angry with the flag burners describing them as criminals.
“ You cant fight the system by burning a flag.Negotiating with authorities is the best way forward.The behaviour of our members in Johannesburg is unacceptable and some of us we condemn their actions, ” Mkandla told Radio Vop from Bulawayo.
More than 500 members of the movement on Tuesday staged what they called “ Freedom March ” on the streets of Johannesburg which attracted the attention of passersby.Business was brought to a standstill when the protesters burnt the Zimbabwean flag describing it as a symbol of oppression for the people of Matabeleland.
“ What those boys did in Johannesburg will create problems for the MLF internal leadership.Paul Siwela is still in prison and authorities could harden their stance after the burning of the country,s flag by those misguided youths, ” Mkandla fumed when he spoke to Radio Vop on Saturday.
Three senior MLF leaders, John Gazi, Charles Thomas and Paul Siwela were arrested last month for distributing what the police termed “ subversive material ” calling on Zimbabweans to rise against President Robert Mugabe,s government.Two of them Gazi and Thomas were later granted bail but Siwela is still languishing in prison.His fate will be decided by the supreme court.
Mkandla said the South Africa leadership of MLF needed to be reshuffled in the wake of Tuesday,s controversial protest march and flag burning.Flag desecration is a serious offence in many countries.But its difficult for the police to bring those who committed the offence to justice since the burning took place in a foreign land.