‘Please hold back’ for the sake of unity – Vavi

2012-09-18 10:40

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has called for “those with narrow ambitions” in the run-up to the ANC’s elective congress in Mangaung to “please hold back a bit” for the sake of unity.

Although he hasn’t mentioned names, this is one of the clearest indications yet that the labour federation will not throw its weight behind anybody challenging President Jacob Zuma in December.

Some in the ANC have already indicated that they want to see Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe pitted against Zuma.

Delivering Cosatu’s secretariat political report on the second day of Cosatu’s congress this morning, Vavi said Cosatu averted a fight yesterday when it unanimously nominated the incumbent national office bearers to serve a second term.

“We hope that the ANC will be inspired by our example yesterday. We hope the movement will be inspired by the majority demonstrated by Cosatu.”

He said the worst thing that could have happened yesterday was delegates arriving and “fight(ing) all the time without thinking what is best for the movement”.

He said if the alliance went to Mangaung fighting, they would emerge with their energy and the alliance’s programme in tatters “with people who say they are the walking wounded and they will not campaign with us in 2014”.

He said “unity” in Mangaung would prevent a “downward slide”.

Vavi said infighting could see the ANC collapse, which would also mean that Cosatu members would suffer.

Later in his report, which took almost three hours to deliver, Vavi said the labour federation would make a decision about who to support in Mangaung, and that will bind all Cosatu’s leaders.

A decision about who to back will follow “political analysis” rather than “irrational discussions”.

Cosatu has about 500 000 members which are also ANC members, which means about half of the ANC’s members are Cosatu members.

The congress is set to end on Thursday.

» Follow @carienduplessis and @City_Press for updates from the congress.

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