Cosatu split is inevitable

2013-09-01 10:00

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Clash of right wing and left wing ideas no surprise.

Mabakewa-Masweneng Benoni

The recent threat made by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) of breaking away from Cosatu – should “Zuma forces”, led by Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, continue with a political plot to oust general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi – is no surprise to many.

This looming Cosatusplit is presented by the contestation of ideas between right wing leaders who stand to benefit from being deployed to a Parliament that supports controversial neoliberal policies such as the National Development Plan and the militant left wing trade unionists who are hellbent on defending the rights of the working class and the poor.

President Jacob Zuma and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/City Press

It is interesting that Numsa no longer sees the future of the left in liberation politics. It must, therefore, consider leaving the labour federation to form an independent and militant workers’ voice.

Many workers belonging to the Cosatu-affiliated unions are ready to join forces with Numsa.

These workers continue to endure the brunt of shoddy service, lack of worker control and trade union bureaucracy that often reduces them to just subscription contributors.

The investment arms of the unions have become minefields of self-enrichment for the few bosses who have become distant from the constituency they claim to represent.

Most of these unions in the public sector fail to champion worker struggles, such as the living wage and the implementation of collective agreements.

Workers are conscious of all these shenanigans and, as a result, they have lost confidence.

We need a new, progressive and militant union federation of workers controlled by workers.

Like Samson, Vavi has lost his strength

Vincent Mxolisi via email

Whenever the great Zwelinzima Vavi used a platform, he always used it to powerfully express his fight for the poor.

But when he appears on a platform now, it is reminiscent of the moment when Samson was used as a circus model by people he once squashed like mosquitoes after his hair had been cut and his eyes gouged out.

Vavi is a gifted, Goliath of a leader.

Zwelinzima Vavi

He successfully led many campaigns unapologetically, such as the one against e-tolling.

When the alleged rape news broke, I said to myself, there comes another effortless attempt to tame the powerful great leader.

Watching him apologise on the news with a certain kind of shyness similar to that of a dog caught in an unbecoming act, I realised that, likeSamson, his strength has been curtailed.

He no longer follows his vision of fighting for workers.

All he does now is defend himself. He now dances for the Philistines.

Hopefully, his hair will grow back again.

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