Zwelinzima Vavi, Zanoxolo Wayile and Irvin Jim briefing media on the United Front in Nelson Mandela Bay (Thulani Gqirana, News24)
Port Elizabeth – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has labelled the ANC and the DA “butchers” of the working class.
In a press conference to endorse the United Front candidates in Nelson Mandela Bay, Numsa’s Irvin Jim on Sunday threw the union's weight behind the new party.
Accompanied by former Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, and former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile, Jim called on all workers in the area to vote for the United Front.
The party will contest 45 wards in the already hotly contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
“We can say now, that there is no difference between the ANC and the DA today. The ANC and DA have become the political axis that exploits the working class.
"The time has come for workers to stop voting into power their worst butchers. The ANC and DA, they strike separately but they are common in supporting neo-liberal policies,” he said.
Wayile said it was time for workers awaken. There had been a betrayal of the Freedom Charter, he said. “The Freedom Charter says the people must govern. It doesn’t say the political thieves must govern.”
Workers should not let President Jacob Zuma become their political blesser, he said, but become their own blessers, no matter how many times he comes to visit Nelson Mandela Bay.
He said ANC mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan could not be expected to create miracles in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Vavi said a vote for the ANC was a ringing endorsement of the current economic and political crisis.
He made an example of the public broadcaster, SABC, as well as the well known Gupta family’s “influence” in government.
A vote for the ANC is a vote for Zuma
Those who called for people to vote for the ANC to honour its past leaders were lying to themselves, he said. “A vote for the ANC in 2016 is a vote for everything President [Jacob] Zuma stands for; it is a vote for him,” he said.
Anyone who thought otherwise was refusing to accept reality, he said. “You have to start acting in your own interest,” Vavi said.
While the party was not clear on who their mayoral candidate would be, Jim said they had given Nelson Mandela Bay a mayor before in Wayile.
Jim said Wayile, who was in the hot seat from 2009 to 2013, had refused to be corrupt and had been shuffled off to Parliament.
They had quickly pulled him out of there, he said.
The party would be mobilising workers until elections in Nelson Mandela Bay, he said.
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