Dlamini justifies Cosatu’s axing of Vavi, says it took 18 months

2015-06-04 08:52
S'dumo Dlamini. Picture: Simone Kley/Foto24

S'dumo Dlamini. Picture: Simone Kley/Foto24

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

For a minute the opening session of the National Union of Mineworkers’ 15th national congress could have been mistaken for a Cosatu gathering, judging from the number of times the trade union federation’s name came up in speeches, almost overshadowing issues of its own affiliate.

Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe used part of their time on the podium to highlight the federation’s challenges and how things should be in the future.

Two months after Cosatu resolved to expel its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in a decision that left its affiliates split, Dlamini was still hard at work trying to justify the decision.

Dlamini told delegates yesterday in Boksburg, where NUM’s four-day congress was being held, that decisions by Cosatu were not taken lightly.

He was seemingly also referring to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), which was also axed over accusations of refusing to accede to the policy of one industry, one union.

Dlamini said people “go out and tell lies about a Cosatu that quickly jumped to expel one of its own”.

“It took Cosatu a solid 18 months to reach that decision. It took the risk of losing the majority of its unions who were impatient about why Cosatu was not taking the decision; it took a solid plan, divisions among workers, it took tolerance of a number of meetings that were happening in the Eastern Cape that were aimed at destroying Cosatu,” he said.

“It took that much … if the NUM had a general secretary who would conduct himself or herself in that manner what would you do?”

Dlamini turned his words to the ANC, which he said was “under attack” and that “dirty money was used to attack branches” of the governing party.

“We should not allow ANC structures to be managed by money. The ANC can be weakened where a branch is weakened,” he said.

“Branches of the ANC are in pockets of businessmen [who] will ensure those going to branch meetings agree with their agenda.”

In his message of support, Mantashe urged Cosatu to concentrate on burning issues affecting workers directly and leave politics to the ANC.

“A divided Cosatu is a weak Cosatu; a divided Cosatu reduces the capacity of Cosatu to fight monopoly capital [and] a divided Cosatu is vulnerable,” he said.

Mantashe urged Cosatu not to worry about what they may perceive as threats for the ANC, saying the governing party was capable of taking on its challengers.

“Leave the question of Numsa not supporting the ANC or forming a party that will contest the ANC; leave that to the ANC. We’ll meet them out there in the field.

“[Numsa] can also start their own party and after a term they will be liquidated. Don’t make it an issue in the federation [and rather] talk about the principle of one industry, one union and one country; one federation.

Addressing Numsa, the leaders of which previously accused Cosatu of having reduced itself to “a labour desk” of the ANC, Mantashe said: “Do not be accused of being a labour desk of the ANC. We don’t need Cosatu to be a labour desk of the ANC. If we want one we’ll form it ourselves.”

Read more on:    s'dumo dlamini  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  numsa  |  num  |  anc

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.

Mkhwebane makes her mark

46 minutes ago

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.