Vavi says Cosatu will not be weakened

2012-08-24 16:00
Video

Malema mouths off at memorial

2012-08-24 08:40

During the memorial service on Thursday, former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema accused the government of not doing anything for the 34 slain miners at Marikana. WATCH. WATCH

Johannesburg - Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi says the attacks on the federation in the wake of the Marikana tragedy will not weaken it.

Vavi, who was addressing the media along with other federation leaders, said there was a plot to weaken Cosatu because of the political power it wielded through its 2.2 million-strong membership.

Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini named expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, African People’s Convention leader Themba Godi, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and the DA as being among those who wanted to reduce Cosatu’s power.

Vavi said part of the “onslaught” was the rise of splinter unions such the National Transport and Allied Workers' Union and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which broke away from the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union and the National Union of Mineworkers.

“Suddenly politicians who, on a daily basis, condemn workers for being too militant and for acting against the interests of the unemployed, are suddenly expressing sorrow and disgust and have even have the guts to blame ‘defocus’ among unions for this state of affairs.

“Their latest recruit is former ANC Youth league leader Julius Malema, a wealthy essentially right-wing leader, who demagogically exploits any perceived weakness to encourage workers to leave their union, their only means of defence.

'Skiet en donder'

“What all these opportunist right-wing politicians have in common is to blame Cosatu for the workers’ problems and try to divide and weaken the workers’ movement,” he said.

He said the federation’s conference, which is expected to be held in Johannesburg next month, would discuss ways the unions could give better services to their members and thwart the rival “bogus unions and their political and financial backers”.

He lamented the conditions under which mineworkers toiled, saying they were paid R5 600 per month even though they faced death every day.

In contrast, he said Lonmin chief financial officer Alan Ferguson was earning R854 581 a month.

Vavi said Cosatu had raised the issue of police brutality – what he termed their “skiet en donder” attitude – for many years.

“We have on countless occasions protested against the immediate resort to firing live ammunition which reveals a serious lack of training and planning on crowd control tactics.

We have also protested the use of rubber bullets on unarmed protesters.

“Police must be trained to negotiate before using force to control crowds. We want to see no guns, including those firing rubber bullets. We want to see riot shields, water cannons and tear gas, not R-5 automatic rifles, to control crowds,” he said.

However, he also slammed the use of weapons by strikers, saying demonstrations should be peaceful.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  mining unrest

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
39 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.