Mbeki blames Gwede and Blade

2014-11-16 15:00

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande are the chief architects of the expulsion of metal workers’ union Numsa from trade federation Cosatu.

This was according to political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki, who added that the imminent split in Cosatu represents a seismic shift in the country’s political landscape.

He said this would have a huge impact on the ANC during elections.

Mbeki said the campaign to rid Cosatu of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was hatched by the two at Cosatu’s national congress in 2012. Mbeki, who was an invited guest at the congress, said Vavi’s political report – which was critical of government – did not go down well with them.

He said they hatched a plan through which police union Popcru would pass a motion of no confidence in the report from the floor.

But Numsa thwarted the move by saying the report had been approved by Cosatu’s central committee. “Numsa said it was not his [Vavi’s] private view and that Popcru should call for a vote of no confidence in the central committee. That’s when the motion died.”

Mbeki said the knives were out for Vavi and Numsa from that day on.

“Numsa got in the way of attempts to get rid of Vavi, so they started conspiring with [Cosatu president] Sdumo Dlamini to get rid of Numsa and Vavi.”

Mantashe said it was standard practice for alliance partners to provide feedback at each other’s conferences and that was how he was given a platform.

“If what we say in commissions and on the floor will be used to accuse us, then it’s mischievous,” he said.

Responding on behalf of Nzimande, SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said Mbeki was not an independent analyst, but wanted to make money off Numsa’s investments.

“We don’t take Moeletsi Mbeki seriously. There is nothing independent about his analysis; he is thinking through his stomach rather than his head. We reject his allegations with the contempt it deserves,” said Mashilo.

Mbeki said the resolution taken by Numsa to form a united front and explore the possibility of starting a workers’ party was crucial in determining the country’s political direction.

He cited examples of workers’ parties that had successfully challenged the political status quo.

“The political landscape was changed [by workers]. In South Africa, these are scenarios that are possible,” he said.

Mbeki said the ANC should be worried about the 2016 local government elections.

“If there was an election tomorrow, the ANC would lose in Gauteng. They would lose Johannesburg, another city and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Such a party is a huge threat to the power of the ANC.”

Meanwhile, Cosatu said on Friday it would talk to all affiliates to confront the issues that “have led to the federation finding itself in these uncharted waters”.

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