Vavi not surprised by death threat

2015-04-15 18:14
(File: Matthew le Cordeur)

(File: Matthew le Cordeur)

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Johannesburg - Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Wednesday said he was not surprised by the threatening comments made a Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) Limpopo leader.

"The death threats are part and parcel of a political agenda to achieve the goal of domesticating, blunting, hollowing out and co-opting... all institutions of our hard won democracy," he said.

"The people driving this agenda will stop at nothing including committing murder."

MKMVA Limpopo deputy chairperson Lulamile Jack threatened to kill Vavi.

Speaking at a Cosatu’s shop stewards council on Tuesday he said: "You must go and tell him that comrade Lulamile Jack, the former body guard of Chris Hani, he will kill him for betraying Cosatu."

Vavi said the comments were a reflection of the state of affairs in the country.

"It is a political environment that prevails that allows the likes [of Jack] to spew that venom and death threats assured that nothing will ever happen to him."

He said the last powerful mass weapon workers had was the trade union movement, which he claimed was being targeted for domestication to serve the interests of the powerful.

"While workers thought they were struggling for the soul of the ANC, a hidden agenda was being hatched by forces hostile to the working class, to capture the soul of Cosatu," Vavi said.

This implosion was not only affecting civil society but was eating away at a range of state institutions and constitutional bodies, he said mentioning the SABC, SA Airways, Eskom, the SA Revenue Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and Parliament.

"Much of this reflects the drive of a predatory elite to exercise control over all areas of society, to advance their narrow agenda of accumulation and control.

"It’s unprincipled abuse of power is increasingly infecting all institutions of state, as well as civil society organisations, including the trade unions," Vavi said.

Broader crisis

The internal crisis in the Cosatu was a symptom of this broader crisis, he said.

"While this is a very sad day, the working class needs to respond decisively to this challenge.

“This is why we are saying 'Don’t mourn, mobilise!'”.

Vavi and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which was also expelled from Cosatu, have been going around the country since Vavi was ousted speaking to workers.

There is speculation that they could be looking at establishing a new trade union federation.

Vavi said he had reported death threats before, as far back as 2010, and to this day nothing has been done.

"I am convinced if I was to issue that kind of threat against anyone in that fashion I would have been arrested by now.

"Lulamile Jack won't be arrested and he will not face any consequences for issuing that threat precisely because of the political environment that exists.

"The culture of impunity has developed," he said.

Many whistle-blowers had been killed in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Free State. No one has been held accountable.

Vavi said if this was allowed to continue the country would find itself in a "kleptocratic state but in barbarism in which the rule of law will only exist in statute books".

Read more on:    cosatu  |  mkmva  |  numsa  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  politics

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