Vavi vows not to return to ‘tamed dog’

The Citizen 

by Ngwako Modjadji 6 May 2015 10h50

Former Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi has ruled out the possibility of going back to the troubled labour federation, saying it would be against what he stands for.

Vavi labelled Cosatu leadership a “gang of murderers” and accused them of turning Cosatu into a “sweetheart” federation. He likened the labour federation to a tamed dog.

Speaking at the Democratic Nurses Union of SA Gauteng provincial executive committee meeting in Woodmead, Johannesburg, Vavi vowed yesterday not to appeal his dismissal from Cosatu.

“I have decided not to appeal against my dismissal,” said Vavi. “If I was to waste another million rand running to courts, I will then face the reality of having to be dismissed again.”

Vavi alleged several Cosatu leaders were involved in corruption.

“If you can’t fix those things, what is the point of fighting to go to back such a federation,” he said.

“The only time I will appeal will be in a legitimate conference which involves the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and all purged unions.”

In what appeared to be a snub, Vavi poured cold water on Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s call for a labour federation that would counter Cosatu.

“The EFF is a product of the political crisis unfolding in our society,” said Vavi. “It is the product of intolerance created by the ANC. I am not going to clean the mess created by the ANC. I have views about the EFF and I am not going to say these views in public.”

Responding to calls he should step forward and lead Numsa’s umbrella entity, the United Front, Vavi said: “I have no qualms whatsoever personally to work with such an organisation.”

“I am not going to run away from any United Front as long as it is about pursuing the struggle against (the) neo-liberal.”

He said some Cosatu affiliates never welcomed the ANC’s intervention task team charged with healing the labour federation.

“Some unions saw it as (Deputy President) Cyril Ramaphosa, (ANC secretary-general) Gwede Mantashe and (ANC treasurer-general) Zweli Mkhize propping up support for the ANC congress in 2017,” said Vavi.


Workers’ party for SA almost a done deal

Times Live

Olebogeng Molatlhwa 17 April, 2015 00h08

Metalworks union Numsa has all but decided to form a workers’ party.

What remains to be seen is how much of the remnants of Cosatu will go along with the union’s plans for the party to contest the 2016 local government elections.

The party’s first mission will be to fend off an onslaught by the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay, which Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Kloete believes will fall to the opposition because of the ANC’s weakness there.

Numsa will also next week decide whether to establish a new trade union federation.

Said Numsa president Andrew Chirwa: “All these processes and decisions for us are about recognising the fact that the time and circumstances are now ripe for the working class to stand on their own [and] create their own revolutionary vanguard Marxist political party for the struggle for a socialist South Africa and world.”

Indications are that the proposed party will be driven by Numsa, with other leftist formations playing a minor supporting role.

Most of the 174 guests and delegates at the union’s conference in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, were Numsa central committee and United Front members. Representatives of other left-wing organisations, academia and disgruntled Cosatu affiliates made up a small contingent. But that has not deterred Numsa – which yesterday admitted to standing no chance of convincing former tripartite alliance partners Cosatu, the ANC and SACP – of seeing its way.

“We cannot win back the alliance to what it was originally formed for, which was to drive a revolutionary programme,” Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said yesterday.

Numsa will also next week decide whether to establish a new trade union federation. File photo
Image by: Daniel Born