Cosatu denies its ‘firm and guarded’ leadership has collapsed post-Vavi

2015-06-03 16:08
Zwelinzima Vavi

Zwelinzima Vavi (Elizabeth Sejake/City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The secretariat of Cosatu has not “collapsed” following the departure of the axed general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

This was the word from the acting president of the National Union of Mineworkers, Piet Matosa, who said Cosatu had “remained firm and guarded” after Vavi’s departure.

Without mentioning Vavi’s name, Matosa said: “It is through [Cosatu leadership’s] resolve that the federation continues to function and the secretariat has not collapsed”.

“This demonstrates that Cosatu does not rely on the cult of personality. The cult of personality promotes the individual above the members,” Matosa said.

He was reiterating statements made by many of Vavi’s detractors, who previously accused him of building a “personality cult and thus sowing divisions” in the embattled federation.

Matosa was addressing delegates today in the first day of the four-day 15th national congress of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is currently under way in Boksburg.

In his speech, Matosa reminded NUM delegates of the upcoming Cosatu special congress to be held from July 13 to 14 and urged them to “prepare sufficiently” for it as well as the ordinary congress to follow thereafter.

“We must go there to defend this federation so that nobody rises on its carcass,” Matosa said.

Vavi’s axing and the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa’s expulsion from Cosatu were expected to be raised by federation affiliates supporting them in the two gatherings.

Matosa said Numsa should remain outside Cosatu. “They wanted out and nobody was going to stop them from organising across other designated areas that Cosatu had assigned to other unions. No one would stop them from forming a political organisation to rival the ANC,” he said.

The NUM and Numsa have often been at loggerheads, accusing each other of tapping in and organising workers in sectors assigned to one union, thus trampling against Cosatu’s policy of “one sector, one union”.

Meanwhile, Matosa said the NUM was regaining its members that it lost to rival unions. The union was left bleeding in 2012, particularly in the platinum belt, when members left it in droves to join the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) which is led by Joseph Mathunjwa, a former NUM member in Mpumalanga.

Matosa said NUM numbers were rising as members return to the union.

“We do not seek to claim easy victories... but being deserted by members as it happened in 2012 and having them coming back day by day is a victory, and not an easy victory. Those who left us found that democracy was an expensive commodity elsewhere,” he said.

“They will tell you that there is no such thing as financial accountability to members by the rival union. Some have come back and others still fear for their lives if they were to do so openly.”

Meanwhile, the congress currently under way is themed “back to basics, members first”.

The NUM previously blamed the drop of its membership on the union’s disconnection with its members on the ground.

In his speech, Matosa emphasised the importance of “providing and maintaining service to members”.

“Back to basics is not just a statement. It is a call to action to do things right and do right things. It is right to provide representation and defend members against the employer,” he said.

The congress was to be addressed by the ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Cosatu leader S’dumo Dlamini today. The gathering will end on Saturday, when delegates will leave after electing new leadership for the NUM.
Read more on:    cosatu  |  num  |  zwelinzima vavi

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/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.