Vavi ‘lost no sleep’ over ANC’s disciplinary threat

2010-06-27 10:55

Are you

relieved that the ANC’s mooted disciplinary action against you has been dropped?

You know,

for some reason I never stressed. I never had a sleepless night over the

matter. From the beginning I knew that it could not be a serious proposition. I

do welcome the fact that we are over it, but it is not something that bothered

me at all. My initial reaction was always that this was not a practical

decision.

Fikile

Mbalula recently stressed that no ANC member is exempt from party discipline,

irrespective of where they are serving. The statement of the national working

committee says as much. What is your take on this, as it obviously leaves the

door open for future disciplinary action against any member if the party feels

offended by his or her comments?

No Cosatu

leader speaking on behalf of Cosatu will ever be subjected to a disciplinary hearing

by another organisation. We will never, ever allow that. If that were to

happen, then we (Cosatu) must fold and close shop. There would be no Cosatu as

we know it today – the independent organisation answerable only to its members.

This is a

sign of creeping intolerance of divergent views. Are you not worried about

this emerging trend?

I am

worried. The implication of the fact that they can’t implement such a decision

– not now and not in the future – that one is serious. The second one is that

unfortunately, through how it has managed this whole debacle, they have sent

out a message that says we are a little bit intolerant. It is unfortunately

sending a message that the ANC is eager to close the space we thought had

opened so widely post-Polokwane, which is absolutely unfortunate. Thirdly, it

unwittingly sends out a message that says those who speak out against

corruption are alien, when it should say those who bring the organisation into

disrepute are the ones who are alien to the ¬culture of the organisation.

I assume

that the ANC is not united in this, but most leaders feel you have crossed the

line.

You must

be careful about this, by the way – this is the NWC (national working

committee), which has no constitutional status. I doubt if the NEC (national

executive committee) would have come to the same conclusion, that what the

Cosatu central executive committee said is alien. We are shocked by that type

of statement. The sin is to say the integrity of the ANC must be protected .?.?. and for asking that, we must be

charged.

You say

the decision to charge you would have been impractical. How?

It means I

would not have subjected myself to discipline by one organisation for saying

things I was mandated by another organisation to say.

That is

the impracticality of the ¬decision – I can’t and no one in Cosatu will do

that. The fact that the ANC is the leader of the alliance does not give it the

right to discipline anybody ¬outside its structures on matters the individual

was speaking on on behalf of constitutional structures that elected him.

Are you

still optimistic, though, about the future of the alliance – given that these

developments challenge its unity and viability?

There is

nothing wrong with the alliance if you look at policies coming from the

structures of the organisation. I have not seen any conference saying the

things that we hear from the NWC – that it is alien to say that serious

allegations of corruption must be investigated.

Do you not

think that you are the author of your own troubles, in that last year you said

you would be available to serve in the leadership of the ANC at the end of your

current term?

I don’t

know, but I guess so. To some people that may be a source of discomfort or even

fear, or downright political jealousy. I have been general secretary for 11

years. In my book, I have done a good job.

Has the

ANC formally requested a meeting with Cosatu over your comments on corruption?

They

vaguely said they would like to have a meeting to discuss some issues that

arose out of this debacle. We said we are prepared to have a discussion.


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.