Members bound by ANC leadership decision: Vavi

By Drum Digital
18 September 2012

All Cosatu members will be bound by the federation's decision on the upcoming ANC leadership election, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.

However, he cautioned that it was "premature" to discuss succession debates.

"... This distracts us from the primary political tasks of taking forward our transformation mandate," Vavi told delegates at Cosatu's national congress in Midrand, Johannesburg.

"We will encourage our members to assess the leadership of all alliance formations, at the right time. The ANC has told us what the right time is," he said.

This was part of the Congress of SA Trade Unions' six areas of consensus in its political mandate.

Nominations for the new leadership of the African National Congress were expected to open in October.

Vavi said state politics at Mangaung, where the ANC would elect it's new leadership, should be avoided.

Addressing ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, Vavi said he hoped the ruling party had been inspired by the re-election of Cosatu's leaders.

"We avoided that fight yesterday," he said.

"We [are] calling for unity of the ANC."

Cosatu's leaders were nominated unopposed on Monday. Vavi and Sdumo Dlamini remain in their positions as secretary-general and president respectively.

Another area of consensus was the need to defend Polokwane, the ANC's last elective conference in 2007, which saw Thabo Mbeki ousted by Jacob Zuma as president of the party.

Vavi said the federation needed to engage with the ANC.

"We need to be constructive, but critical, and refuse to allow political paralysis. We need to ensure that they help us to help them," he said.

There was a consensus that a new tendency of "tenderpreneurs" was a serious threat which needed to be exposed and isolated, said Vavi.

"We need to continue to engage from a working class perspective, unapologetically pursue our class struggle, and continue to analyse our political challenges based on material realities which confront us, rather than a narrow commitment to any grouping or leadership," he said.

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