Cosatu leaders waste energy on internal battles – Vavi

2014-12-11 18:04

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says the trade union federation’s leadership is wasting most of its energy on internal battles instead of advancing pertinent workers’ and societal issues.

Addressing the graduation ceremony of the Cosatu Chris Hani Brigade in Polokwane, Limpopo today, Vavi expressed doubts on whether there would be much to report on in terms of progress made by Cosatu in implementing its 2012 congress resolutions.

“We are at our weakest organisationally. How dare instead of us implementing the congress resolutions do we then turn around to circulate rumours, scandals and character assassinate each other when the enemy is celebrating elsewhere and completely unscathed by what we’re supposed to be – a leading organ of the organised workers?” he asked.

“How dare do we engage in this mindless battle to kill and to assassinate each others’ characters without discussions when our home is burning? Where do we get the luxury from?”

Vavi said only 29% of workers were unionised while the other 71% of was unorganised and continued to ask “where do we get the time to focus our energy against one another instead of recruiting those 71% of unorganised workers into our unions?”

He said 14 million South Africans were starving while 26 million were living below the poverty line. Vavi then asked where “do we then get the energy to turn against one another” when the people (unions) are responsible for continue to suffer.

On his attack on the Cosatu top leadership, Vavi said – with him included – none of them were “angels”.

“There are no angels (and) not one member of the Cosatu leadership collective who sits in the central executive committee remains neutral. Everyone of us has taken a position in factional battles in the federation informed by their personal circumstances, their material circumstances and considerations, their political and ideological circumstances,” he said.

Vavi said the first victim that goes through the window when there is division is the truth, adding that it was “being told in a convenient manner by factionalists”.

“In most of the time in the organisation, we get divided and people don’t say what the real reasons we are divided are. They want to have a right to eat and (will say instead) there are political and ideological divisions. Nonsense! In many cases those divisions are about leaders wanting the right to eat at the expense of the most marginalised in society,” he said.

He also spoke strongly against character assassination. “Let’s not pigeon-hole one another. Let’s not sentence one another to death even before we know what the verdict is,” said Vavi.

He said he had previously been accused of stealing millions from the sale and purchase of Cosatu House in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

“I said (at the time) bring it on, let’s investigate. Forensic auditors were brought in and there were no findings in my direction; I don’t shout what I am not practising,” he said.

He further warned against the dangers of divisions in an organisation.

“When there are divisions there is no political discussion... there are no ideologies. There are sticks; there are bricks; bullets, funerals, massacres and gangsterism in the organisation. There are all those things that we have seen in the past,” said Vavi.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.