Motlanthe’s exclusion from top six would affect unity – Vavi

2012-11-28 13:22

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says dropping ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe from the party’s top six would have “long-term implications for the unity of the ANC”.

The leadership of the labour federation was supposed to meet Motlanthe to persuade him against contesting President Jacob Zuma in Mangaung next month, but had failed to do so before it held the meeting of its central executive committee (CEC) this week.

Vavi said today at Cosatu House that the CEC was unhappy that the meeting had not taken place, but said the federation’s leadership would continue to seek a discussion on the matter with Motlanthe.

While he acknowledged that Cosatu had no right to nominate the ruling party’s leaders, Vavi said Cosatu had the right to influence the outcome of the governing party’s leadership contest.

Both Vavi and Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini are among the “active unionists” that the labour federation would like to see serving in the next ANC national executive committee (NEC) that the party will elect in Mangaung.

Vavi, Dlamini and Cosatu second deputy president Zingisa Losi are three of the top six Cosatu leaders who have been nominated by ANC branches to serve in the 80-member NEC.

Vavi has previously declined leadership positions in the ANC, citing the confusion that might bring as he is the main Cosatu voice.

Zuma has wooed unionists by suggesting that they need to come on board and guide the direction of the ANC.

“What we are debating is that the (August) congress said we must swell the (ANC) ranks without exception. The debate is whether it would be tactically correct to have three national office-bearers out of six serving in the ANC.

“Before 16 December, we will get back to you and say ‘this one, not this one’,” he said.

A report of Cosatu’s political commission on Mangaung led to discussions about which Cosatu members were active and paid-up ANC members who could qualify for nomination for the NEC.

“The CEC agreed that the NEC must be more representative in terms of class and quality and needs more active unionists and communists.

“Some Cosatu leaders had participated in nominations in their capacity as ANC members and it is emerging on the ground that contrary to media reports and pronouncements by some provinces, a majority of branches in various provinces were supporting Cosatu and SACP’s nominated candidates,” Vavi said.

The federation also announced that it would go ahead with its anti-etolls demonstration on Friday as part of its civil disobedience campaign to stop government from tolling Gauteng’s freeway.

- City Press

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