Cosatu turns up heat on cronyism

2010-09-28 14:29

Johannesburg - Cosatu put pressure on the ANC on Tuesday, threatening to "name and shame" people who use political connections to line their pockets.

Relations between the ANC and Cosatu have been strained by what the labour group sees as growing cronyism in the government and by a state workers' strike led by Cosatu-affiliated unions which was suspended earlier this month.

"The time is coming where we would name and shame these real enemies of the revolution who mouth unity but are hell bent on destroying the cohesion of the liberation movement for their selfish ends," said Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

"Cosatu will step up its campaign against corruption and is proceeding to consult its partners in civil society to build a powerful anti-corruption institution of civil society," Vavi told a union meeting.

President Jacob Zuma told an ANC meeting last week that he would crack down on corruption in its ranks but offered few details of what he would do to end shady deals.

Vavi has said Cosatu's long-standing alliance with the ANC was dysfunctional and his federation might withdraw support for ANC candidates who do not meet its standards when local elections are held next year.

Analysts say Vavi's comments were probably aimed as much at Zuma as they were at people within the ANC who are lining up their own bids for power in 2012, when the party elects its leaders and sets economic policy.

Cosatu has also proposed a tax on short-term capital flows, a reversal of steps to relax currency controls and contradicting National Treasury plans, and nationalisation of some mines.

Zuma's government has also been feeling the heat on two highly criticised mining deals that resulted in one of Zuma's sons and some of his financial backers ending up with hefty profits.