Cosatu, ANC rift deepens

2010-11-02 13:17

The ANC was concerned about not being invited to a civil society conference last week where alliance partner the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) criticised the government’s economic policies, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said today.

“We noted that the ANC, the [SA Communist Party and [SA National Civics Organisation] were not invited, positioning the conference as an alternative block to the alliance,” Mantashe told a media briefing at Luthuli House today.

“We believe the majority of Cosatu leadership have no intention of implementing regime change in South Africa, but we nonetheless caution that an action like the one of leading a charge for the formation...of a mass civic movement outside the alliance and the ANC might indeed be interpreted as initial steps for regime change in South Africa,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe was speaking after a meeting of the ANC’s National Working Committee which took place yesterday.

He said that although there were denials in speeches and declarations at the conference that it was anti government or anti ANC, its failure to invite the ANC and other alliance partners pointed to the opposite.

He described the conference’s stance as oppositionist and noted that the government of the ANC was “found guilty” in absentia for pursuing neo liberal policies.

Mantashe said the ANC was appalled by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi referring to ANC members as “predatory elite”.

But, he said Vavi had not engaged in public spats as his comments were generalised.

This after the ANC’s National General Council in September resolved that firm action would be taken against those who engaged in public spats.

However, Mantashe said that generalised statements made by Vavi “caused more harm” than if he had been specific.

The ANC would talk to Cosatu on its concerns over the conference and convene a meeting urgently.

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