Cosatu conference: ANC not 'paranoid'

2010-11-04 14:01

Johannesburg - The ANC's criticism this week of Cosatu's civil society conference was not motivated by paranoia, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

"The issue is that the ANC has a relationship with Cosatu," Mantashe told a gathering hosted by The Daily Maverick in Sandton, Johannesburg.

"Therefore if you are going to flirt with other people, you talk to your alliance partners, so that there are no suspicions."

By "other people" Mantashe was referring to civil society organisations with which Cosatu held a conference last week. Neither ANC nor government representatives were invited.

At an ANC press briefing following the conference, the party cautioned Cosatu about attempting to effect regime change in South Africa. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi then said the ruling party was being "paranoid".

Mantashe denied this, saying there were "living examples" of civil society organisations being funded to oppose liberation movements, for example Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change.

"Reality informs our perceptions, not paranoia," Mantashe said.

There were civil society organisations hostile towards the ANC and the issue was that its alliance partner had "flirted" with these groups, Mantashe said.