Power-hungry personalities will be the end of Cosatu, says Gwede Mantashe

2013-08-21 14:58

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe says personality cults in union federation Cosatu are going to kill the labour federation.

He said unions should reconsider conferring too much power on their general secretaries, and give those powers to members instead.

Addressing Cosatu-affiliated police union Popcru’s political school in Benoni today, Mantashe said moving away from trade union principles and creating cults around individual leaders would destroy unions in the federation.

He was speaking at a time when Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has been suspended for bringing the federation into disrepute after he had sex with a junior Cosatu employee at work. There is a also a parallel “facilitation process” that is looking into the divisions in Cosatu.

“Others belong to Vavi and others to (Cosatu president) Sdumo (Dlamini). Then you are going to kill the federation because it was not meant to be like that,” he said.

He added it will also important to separate the duties of the president and the general secretary as outlined in the federation’s constitution to avoid personality cults.

He told City Press on the sidelines of the indaba that “worker control” was important in Cosatu to limit the influence the employed bureaucracy has in the federation, saying its decline impacts on the federation over time.

“It’s like me in the ANC, I know what to do. I am not the president of the ANC, and I don’t pretend to be one … It’s a conscious decision. You must be conscious about it first as the general secretary.

“That’s why there’s a term ‘cult of personality’ because when you get addicted (to) power you don’t see anything in front of you. You run over everything,” he said.

Mantashe also took a swipe at the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which said it would meet in December and review its decision to support the ANC in the polls, saying deserting the ANC will make it a conservative organisation.

“If you look at the ANC, it is one of the six authentic liberation movements in Africa … You will move it to the right (of the political spectrum),” he said.

He also poured scorn on Numsa’s claim that the unionists who were elected on to the ANC’s national executive committee in Mangaung in December are spearheading attempts to reduce Cosatu into a “toothless” ANC labour desk.

Mantashe said labour would have more than 10 people in the ANC’s most influential leadership structure were it not for the divisions that plague it.

“Those leaders are leaders of the ANC in their own right. They should be in the NEC in their own right. They are not there as the Cosatu faction in the ANC … It is important for a working class formation to be united,” he said.

- City Press

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.