‘Vavi MP offer strange’

2014-01-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The union Numsa yesterday said thanks but no thanks to the ANC for offering Zwelinzima Vavi a job as a member of Parliament.

Vavi had earlier said no to the offer by the ANC’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who told Vavi at a funeral over the weekend that ANC branches want the suspended general secretary of Cosatu to represent them in Parliament.

Numsa’s secretary-general Irvin Jim said Vavi as MP would be a very bad idea.

He also asked why Vavi was good enough for Parliament, but not to fight for workers’ rights.

An outspoken critic of Zuma and the ANC, Vavi was suspended from Cosatu and Numsa has already indicated it will withdraw its support from the ANC in this year’s national elections.

Vavi, who did not react to calls, has said no to the offer in a tweet.

Jim said his appointment as an MP would have been a disaster.

He said one could not dress one of the few true fighters for the rights of workers and the poor in a suit, and think he would represent a policy that does not benefit their interest.

“Look what happened to the others that we sent [to Parliament], who now put their own agendas above that of the workers.”

Jim was also sceptical about the timing of the offer, calling it “very strange” in view of the current situation between the alliance and its “continued attack” on Vavi.

He speculated that it was possibly an attempt to stop critical voices.

Vavi yesterday tweeted he feels honoured that the ANC branches trust him, but he had to decline with respect.

After other tweets had taken Vavi to task for declining the offer on the public platform of Twitter, he said it was not proper to make such an offer at a funeral.

Professor Dirk Kotzé, a political analyst, said the ANC would not have defused the situation in the alliance by making Vavi an MP.

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