Numsa slams attacks on Vavi over Cosatu’s opposition to secrecy bill

2011-12-14 14:47

Metalworkers’ union Numsa has slammed recent attacks on Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi over the labour federation’s opposition to the contentious Protection of State Information Bill.

Following a meeting of its central committee earlier this month, the SACP blasted critics of the bill.

The party said these were liberals working in the interest of the DA and they were pushing propaganda against the ANC government.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim told journalists today, following the union’s three-day central committee meeting, that it was “concerned about the nasty characterisation, labelling and pigeon-holing of (Vavi) for publicly communicating an agreed (Cosatu) central executive committee position taken through an open and democratic process” about the bill.

Jim said Numsa rejected the notion that any objections against the bill were in the interest of “liberals and the liberal media”.

Instead, he said “it is in the class interests of the working class to have an unimpeded access to state information from any state in a capitalist society such as ours”.He said the bill could diminish workers’ access to critical state information.

The main concern critics of the bill have is that it does not have a public interest defence for anyone caught leaking confidential state information.

Some Cosatu leaders have found themselves in a fix over whether to support the bill or not, as they were wearing a second hat as SACP central committee members.

These are Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana, general secretary Frans Baleni, National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary Fikile Majola and teachers union Sadtu president Thobile Ntola.

Meanwhile, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said he and a delegation of ANC MPs have agreed to meet with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Vavi tomorrow in separate meetings at Cosatu House about the bill.

Motshekga accused Madonsela of trying to interfere with law-making processes after she wrote to the Speaker, Max Sisulu, to inform him that she has received expressions of concern by members of the public about the bill.

This meeting will follow meetings Madonsela and Vavi had, on separate occasions, with newspaper editors.

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