The weird world of politics: Sister Sdumo?

2013-09-22 14:00

Mind your faction

If you think union federation Cosatu is riddled with factionalism, spare a thought for the ANC.

While Cosatu has a pro-Zwelinzima Vavi and a pro-Sdumo Dlamini faction, the ANC has three factions. We know this because the ANC’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has admitted as much.

But he says the division is between a group that pronounces his name correctly, a group that pronounces it “Cereal” (led by Gwede Mantashe), and another that pronounces it “Silili”. No need to guess who leads the last faction.

Class enemies

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has tried to avoid taking sides.

As a leader of the broad church of the ANC, he does not want to take any sides these days. An example is how he explains his attitude towards big business.

“We love and hate capital. That relationship is the struggle of unity and opposites. You must appreciate it as such. There should be a strong public sector, but there must also be a strong private sector. We live with that and manage that. If we want to destroy capital, our allies the

(SA) Communist Party must do that,” he said.

Sister Sdumo?

Some people say the anti-Vavi group is led by right-wingers who are keen to climb the political ladder and make some extra dough.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions’ Sdumo Dlamini tried to make it clear that he is not in politics for the money, but merely to do what workers want.

“I may appear to some as a person who fears to speak truth to power?...?a simple professional nurse employed at Umlazi. That’s where my salary comes from every month.

“It doesn’t come from Cosatu, and that’s the power of a worker. My salary won’t be lost if I leave Cosatu,” he said.

Animal farm

Vavi thinks those who fear speaking truth to power fear losing the spoils of patronage they get from powerful politicians.

He told metalworkers union Numsa’s political school that people who have food in their mouths avoid speaking.

“I grew up on a farm. When the grass is long, cattle don’t make a noise (while they eat),” Vavi told his comrades.

That’s why he will face more charges soon for not shutting up.

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