Irvin Jim: ‘Desktop academic’ Blade Nzimande trying to divide Cosatu

2014-08-05 16:35

Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, has launched a blistering attack on Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, calling him a liar who is out to divide Cosatu.

Jim was reacting to questions from journalists on his union spearheading the formation of a workers’ party and the effect this was having on unity in trade union federation Cosatu. He pointed fingers at Nzimande, saying the SACP general secretary had, through his public pronouncements, proven to be on a mission to divide the federation.

“What does he stand to benefit? What kind of a South African Communist Party [is this] that is so resolute in dividing workers on the basis of lies? Blade Nzimande is a liar of note,” he said.

Jim said Nzimande, as an academic, had no experience of the conditions workers faced on shop floors and had never led a trade union, hence his constant attempts to try and divide Cosatu.

“He’s got a crisis because I don’t think he’s ever been in the factory ... he’s a desktop academic. He doesn’t know how to build a union. He doesn’t know the exploitation of workers in the form of production and why workers must do everything to defend their unity.

“He (Nzimande) behaves like a rented politician by capital. We didn’t think he could be so cheap as to want to sell what belongs to workers,” he said.

Jim said Nzimande was lying when he accused Numsa of trying to turn itself into a political party. He said the metalworkers’ union’s sole intention was to be a catalyst for the formation of an independent workers’ party in South Africa.

“We are sick and tired of the moonlighting general secretary of the SACP who speaks in tongues,” he said.

Numsa is this weekend hosting an international symposium of left-leaning parties and movements to share ideas on the successes and failures of these establishments contesting for political power.

It has invited a range of political parties, including the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters, to the symposium, which starts at the Kopanong conference centre in Benoni on the East Rand, on Thursday.

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