Cosatu defers key political talks

2011-06-30 11:13

Labour federation Cosatu deferred discussion on the ANC succession debate and nationalisation after a badly written resolution was put forward at its central committee meeting in Midrand today.

The resolution on the National Democratic Revolution was so badly written it would rob delegates of the opportunity for intelligent discussion, said Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

The central committee decided to defer discussions back to its political commission for resolutions to be made at a Cosatu leadership meeting in August.

The ANC, represented by national executive committee members Siphiwe Nyanda and Tony Yengeni, raised the concern that the ANC would not have access to these later talks. Cosatu’s leaders said it would be accommodated.

The resolution called for the debate on leadership succession in the ANC and its alliance partners Cosatu and the SA Communist Party – which all hold separate elective conferences next year – to remain closed.

“Such a discussion is premature and has a potential of destroying our movement,” it noted.

“The incumbent leadership of these formations must be supported to take forward their mandate until the end of their term in office.”

Nyanda pointed out that Cosatu said earlier that the ANC leaders elected in Polokwane should be defended.

The resolution called on alliance partners to stop attacking each other in public and reiterated Cosatu’s support of nationalisation as described in the Freedom Charter.

The charter specifies that the wealth of the country “shall be restored to the people” and “the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole”.

The resolution noted a “growing tendency” to use money to secure positions and to ensure the adoption of certain policies.

A “new tendency” existed of people using political connections for their own “accumulation interests”, adopting an “it’s our turn to eat” stance.

“They rely on populist demagoguery politics to allow them enough political space and power to push for their accumulation agenda.”

Cosatu earlier said this referred to some within the ANC Youth League.

“They seize and use popular working-class issues to stir emotions of unsuspecting and disgruntled sections of the working class in society when their actual agenda is to secure power and use such power against the very working class.”

The resolution suggested this group was backed by “well-resourced and powerful business and politicians”.

That it did not spell out how these developments should be dealt with was part of the reason Vavi suggested that decisions on it be taken later.

Cosatu’s central committee meeting entered its fourth and final day today.

The mid-term policy and evaluation gathering started on Monday with President Jacob Zuma telling delegates that the tripartite alliance was in crisis.

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