You can’t solve Cosatu problems the African way – Mantashe

2015-03-30 17:46

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The ANC believes it would be wrong for the embattled Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to expel its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and that this would lead to even deeper fractures.

“Our view is that expelling (Vavi) is the easiest decision. The most complex one is what happens thereafter,” said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe today.

Mantashe’s statement coincided with the Cosatu CEC sitting to decide Vavi’s fate in the trade union federation.

Addressing the media today following the party’s NEC meeting in Cape Town over the weekend, Mantashe said it would not be wise for the ANC-aligned federation to forge unity while at the same creating spaces by cutting off others.

“I was talking to one leader of an affiliate of Cosatu and said ‘you see you can’t resolve problems of Cosatu the African way where a beast will be slaughtered and hope that there will be ten more born,’” he said.

“You can’t resolve organisational problems that way. You are collapsing it instead of growing (it) and it may disappear instead of growing.

“To me, leaders of Cosatu must appreciate that in their quest and drive to hurt each other they will destroy the federation (and) by the time they wake (up) there will be nothing left of it.”

Mantashe described expulsion as an “extreme decision” and encouraged engagement rather.

In the same breath he condemned Vavi for revealing the financial position of Cosatu in a press conference he called yesterday.

“I will have discussions with my friend Zwelinzima. I think the most dangerous thing to do is to say when you have issues with the organisation you call a press conference and divulge that there is no money but you are heading the administration,” said Mantashe.

Vavi told the media yesterday: “Cosatu is currently living on R300 000 a month beyond its income. Cosatu staff could only be paid in February and March by raiding the Political Fund (designated for other purposes). This source will dry up soon.”

“Campaign activities – the core of our work – will be curtailed and there is the likelihood of having to go with a begging bowl to our class enemies for money to hold a congress later this year.”

Mantashe said if this was the problem then Vavi should count himself as part of it. “If you spent political funds for salaries, I will imagine that when you get closer to that... that can’t be dealt without the secretary of the federation,” he said.

“To go and announce that... to me is actually bordering on being delinquent.”

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