Polokwane unity unravels - Vavi

2009-12-11 13:18

The ruling alliance has witnessed the beginning of the “unravelling

of the unity of the forces that made Polokwane happen,” Congress of SA Trade

Unions general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said yesterday.

“Comrades, we confront the challenge to understand the underlying

reasons for this apparent rupture and its ideological, national and class

character,” Vavi said in an address prepared for delivery at the SA Communist

Party’s second special national congress.

The alliance includes the ANC, the SACP, Cosatu and the SA National

Civics Organisation.

“The unity of the movement is a sacred objective that we should

spare no energy to preserve and nurture.

“However, it is not unity for its own sake but an effort to unite a

broad range of forces to attain the goals of our struggle for fundamental

change,” he said.

Vavi said “nobody said it would be easy” and it would be “folly to

abandon the ANC when we are confronted by contradictions.

“We persevered during the most difficult time in the post-1994 era.

Why should we give up now?

“Leaving the ANC because we are upset by some problematic

pronouncements from a minority is a betrayal of those masses that voted for

fundamental transformation of society,” he said.

He added that it was “false” to argue that common ground could not

be established with “many of these comrades” since there were no “principled

disagreements” about the organisations’ goals.

“Our responsibility is to broaden the front of the forces who want

genuine change whilst recognising that there is a tiny minority that only mouth

empty rhetoric about change but whose agenda is to use the movement and

positions for narrow accumulation and personal wealth,” he said.

Vavi urged delegates at the congress to defend post-Polokwane gains

and ensure their realisation.

Relations between partners in the ruling alliance were restored

after former ANC president Thabo Mbeki was ousted at the party’s 52nd national

conference in 2007. He was replaced with current president Jacob Zuma, whose

backing from the alliance partners helped secure his victory.

Recently the alliance partners have clashed on issues including the

new administration’s National Planning Commission, the purchase of flashy cars

for Cabinet members and the unionisation of the military.

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