Vavi questions 'bhuti-bhuti' relationships

2013-02-07 22:21
Zwelinzima Vavi (Picture: Beeld)

Zwelinzima Vavi (Picture: Beeld)

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Cape Town - Congress of Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday took aim at his fellow leaders who are close to president Jacob Zuma and have been elected to the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC, including the union federation's president Sdumo Dlamini.

According to City Press, Vavi fired a broadside at his fellow worker leaders, making it clear that all is not well within Cosatu's leadership.

Vavi who was speaking at the Chris Hani Institute in Cosatu House, was unhappy about how his fellow workers not being critical enough of the ANC.

"Are we still united around the principle or are we going to be in a bhuti-bhuti relationship [with the ANC]?" Vavi asked the audience.

"There will be no Zuma moment with a fractured movement. It will just become nice rhetoric for conferences."

Vavi said Cosatu's independence is its mainstay, and suggested that this was under threat.

"Cosatu allies must allow Cosatu to be independent, not try to use remote controls to control a particular agenda," he said.

He said Cosatu should not become a mouthpiece of the ANC.

"Cosatu must have originality in thought and not just mouth what it has heard at a rally."

Mother of all battles

Earlier, Vavi warned that the "mother of all battles" against Gauteng e-tolls, high electricity prices and corruption is coming.

"The mother of all battles is coming this year against the e-tolls, the banning of labour brokers and corruption... we are in so much trouble when it comes to the deep rot of corruption," he said.

The recent reports on Eskom spending millions on sponsoring business breakfasts run by the company owned by the Gupta family - close friends of the president - irked Vavi immensely, City Press reported.

"What type of eggs are these comrades [having} that cost millions? And then they want to tell us 16% increase," he said, referring to Eskom's proposed electricity price hike.

He said the scale of corruption, where people were continuing to steal from the poor, was "frightening".

He mentioned alleged corrupt activities such as the spending of over R200m to upgrade President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla, according to Sapa.

Another example, he said, was Communication Minister Dina Pule's lover, who allegedly raked in R6m in four days for organising the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Indaba in June last year.

A third was the repossession of former Durban metro police officer Sbusiso Mpisane's nine luxury cars by the Asset Forfeiture Unit on Wednesday.

He said it was clear there were officials within the public works department who colluded with private companies to inflate prices and thus increase costs for Zuma's home upgrade.

"Is this [the corruption] what the Lula Moment or second transition is about? I do not think so. We want to see what happened in Brazil during President [Luiz] Lula [da Silva's] term happen here, during this government's term."

The ANC was going to lose an even bigger chunk of support from South Africans unless it dealt with corruption, said Vavi.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  vavi  |  politics  |  corruption
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