‘Support ANC or be silent on Workers’ Day’

2014-04-30 16:00

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National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) leaders were not included as speakers for May Day rallies because the federation only wanted those who will campaign for the ANC to deliver speeches.

This is according to National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) deputy president Joe Mpisi who was addressing the media in Polokwane, Limpopo, earlier today ahead of Cosatu’s national May Day rally, which will be addressed by President Jacob Zuma tomorrow.

He, however, said this did not amount to “sidelining” of Numsa.

When asked if Numsa could have campaigned for the ANC, its spokesperson, Castro Ngobese said: “We can’t lie to workers. These May Day rallies should not be used as an ideological force to tell a lie that there is a good story to tell when there is actually none.”

Mpisi said the deployments were finalised and adopted by the central executive committee, in which Numsa had taken part.

“Cosatu took a resolution that all affiliates must vote ANC and having read the attitude of Numsa [not to support the ANC], the committee was clear when deployees were adopted that only people who are going to carry messages for people to vote ANC and share messages of unity would speak. We want people who will unite the federation and the alliance,” Mpisi said.

“Numsa leaders are deployed in various provinces, but they are not going to speak – just like myself being deployed to Limpopo, but I won’t speak. Leaders who are going to speak will prepare people to vote ANC on May 7.”

Meanwhile, Numsa has also warned against the use of May Day rallies by Cosatu.

“We can’t lie to the workers and mobilise for the ANC when they are behaving like the former oppressor. We can’t lie because we don’t think workers are prepared to eat emblems and symbols of the ANC. There is no good story to tell when miners in the platinum sector have been on strike for months and the ANC is not intervening,” Ngobese said.

“There is no good story to tell when labour brokers are not being banned as promised by ANC in 2009; when e-tolls are imposed by the ANC government; and when the majority of workers continue to earn less than R3 000 month.”

Meanwhile, Numsa backer and Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi will speak at a rally at Dan Qeqe Stadium in Port Elizabeth tomorrow. Vavi had also said he will not lie for the ANC but promised not to campaign against the ruling party.

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