Vavi is a ‘cult personality’ – Sadtu

2014-10-05 06:00

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The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) is concerned about the emergence of Cosatu’s secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi as a “cult personality”.

He also came in for a drubbing for using social media to air his views on the federation.

Sadtu’s conference, which ends today, has lashed out at Vavi, saying he “proactively worked to cause divisions” within the union and the federation.

In its secretariat report, which City Press has seen, Sadtu says: “A group of nine affiliates blindly following one of the quantitatively larger affiliates of the federation were prepared to turn a blind eye to everything that Cosatu stands for in defence of this individual leader.

“This is the very individual leader who proactively worked to cause divisions within Sadtu.”

It was referring to Cosatu’s nine affiliates, led by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which threw in their lot with Vavi after he was suspended by the federation last year.

The nine called for a special congress to resolve Vavi’s suspension, which was later overturned by the courts.

In the report, Sadtu says: “A point we are trying to highlight is that it is very possible an individual who grew larger than the organisation might have significantly contributed to the lack of cohesion and divisions within Cosatu.

“On numerous occasions, for instance, the views of an individual would rapidly be transformed into the views of Cosatu, and they would regrettably reach us through the media.”

Vavi, it said in the report, had developed an exaggerated sense of himself, to the alliance’s detriment.

“Cosatu never was and will never be reliant on an individual to implement its programmes and continue to unite the workers behind its shield.”

Numsa was not spared, either. “We must speak out against this affiliate that has afforded itself a ‘super-affiliate’ status in recent years. This is the same affiliate that openly defied a call by the ANC to ‘cease all hostilities’ while a mediation process was unfolding.

All other affiliates obliged, but the ‘super-affiliate’ continued to stir divisions among workers and to advance its resolve to launch a political party.”

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