DA can try to turn into prime beef but will always be donkey – Cronin

2013-05-01 16:43

Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin has accused the Democratic Alliance (DA) of trying to reinvent itself and change history. He said the party was “hijacking our heroes”.

“They can try to turn themselves into prime beef, but they will always be donkey,” he said – referring to the recent meat scandal where it was discovered that donkey and kangaroo meat was found in beef sausages.

He said workers needed to be wary of vigilante trade unions and the DA’s attempts to rebrand itself.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was a vigilante union that had been formed by ill-disciplined former members of the National Union of Mineworkers, he said.

Cronin, who is also the SA Communist Party deputy general secretary, was speaking at a Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) Workers’ Day rally at Durban’s Curries Fountain Stadium.

He accused mining companies Lonmin and Impala Platinum of breaking the collective bargaining process.

Cronin said the decision had emboldened Amcu and had led to the Marikana tragedy.

“Now they are reaping the benefits,” he said.

Lonmin made headlines when labour turbulence at its platinum mine in Marikana culminated in a violent clash between police and striking miners on August 16 last year.

A total of 34 mine workers were shot dead on the day and 78 were wounded. Another 10 people had been killed in the preceding week.

Cronin called on Cosatu to be unified and to not allow vigilante unions to undermine it.

Cronin said the SACP was concerned at reported divisions within the trade union federation.

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