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A Challenge to Cosatu:

24 November 2011, 15:10

Dear Comrade's

 

As you are well aware this last Tuesday the alarm bells for our fledgling democracy began ringing just that much louder. Dubbed 'black Tuesday' Parliament voted in favour, with the ANC MP's holding the overwhelming majority, for the Information Bill.

 

As a citizen of this country there was some small hope that sanity would prevail and the bill would be voted down. But alas that was not to be the case. More so in light of the new information that the ruling party is to take disciplinary action against its MP's that withheld their votes. This draconian approach to the ANC's own members does not bode well for us ordinary citizens.

 

There is indeed strong opposition against the bill proposed by your alliance partner, ranging from all levels of civil society from the DA and other parties, SANEF to the Right2Know campaign and many many others.

 

What was refreshing was hearing of your (Cosatu's) voice added to that of the opposition in speaking out against this bill.

 

Now while the unions and many current organisations in South Africa do not see eye to eye, one thing is clear that in the interests of all South Africans, this bill cannot be made law.

 

Your own general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has been extremely outspoken against corruption within the government and ANC. Added to this the recent statement before the vote took place where Cosatu made it clear it will seek action in the constitutional court if due process's that were promised were not followed and the bill not relooked at.

 

Now we know the consultations in the nine provinces did not take place and the bill was once again pushed through Parliament.

 

What now?

 

My question to your dear comrades is how will you use your influence now? How will you show your hand?

 

I will not pretend to be a supporter of the unions due to policy differences and the violence and destruction that seems to follow each time a strike is called. But one thing the mass actions do demonstrate is the 'power' your organisation holds within the politics of South Africa.

 

But my question remains, what will you do now? How will you follow up this denunciation of the Information Bill in direct conflict with your alliance member the ANC?

 

Would not a general strike of some form raise the political bar on this matter?

 

I would certainly like to see the reaction of the ANC top caucus in the face of a direct challenge.

 

You claim to be a voice of the worker and people, I think it's time that Cosatu should show the ANC what exactly the people and workers of this country really think of a bill that we do not want signed   

So my challenge to you is, put your money where your mouth is.

 

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