Vavi and Dlamini factions clash in song

2013-11-04 00:00

DEEP-SEATED divisions within the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) burst into the open in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday when shop stewards from affiliate unions converged at Coastlands Hotel.

The rift became apparent after Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini arrived at the shop stewards’ council when shop stewards — mainly from Sadtu, Popcru and Nehawu — sang a pro-Dlamini song.

Soon, another group of shop stewards, mainly from Numsa, sang a pro-suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi song.

Those in attendance also demonstrated the substitution sign used in soccer, in an apparent show of no-confidence in Dlamini.

When it was Dlamini’s turn to address the council, shop stewards mainly from Popcru and Sadtu led him with a song as he took the podium while others from the Numsa just sat on their chairs.

Dlamini was at times interrupted by shop stewards from Numsa and he even threatened that disruptors would be evicted from the meeting.

The meeting suddenly broke into song and the police came inside to monitor the situation.

This happened as Cosatu was taken to court by some unions after Vavi’s suspension. There are also suspicions that some unionists are likely to break away from the ANC-led alliance.

Yesterday’s rumpus did not go unnoticed, with the ANC and SACP warning about the growing divisions in Cosatu.

SACP second deputy secretary Solly Mapaila said anarchy should be stopped and discipline instilled in Cosatu.

“We have to invest in political and ideological training of our members, Mapaila said.

He also said those who want to leave the alliance should be convinced otherwise and warned that destructive criticism led to tensions.

“Let us unite all the forces of liberation. Our action must be to neutralise our detractors and isolate our enemies,” he added.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said divisions in Cosatu would result in a divided ANC.

“We must be aware of tendencies of disunity especially when they prevail at national level,” he said.

Zikalala reminded the shop stewards about the ANC at the Polokwane conference in 2007 when derogatory songs were sung about leaders and T-shirts bearing faces of certain leaders were burnt.

“It resulted in serious divisions. More important it continued as if it is a norm,” he said.

In his address, Dlamini insisted Cosatu would not split and that it had no crisis.

“I still say there can never be in a split in Cosatu. You begin to engineer a split, it is not gonna work,” he said.

Some union leaders condemned the drama that characterised the earlier part of the council meeting. But, there were differing views on the suspension of Vavi and how the internal processes were handled.

Cosatu secretary Zet Luzipo said a report would be prepared on what happened at the shop stewards’ council to the labour federation’s executive committee meeting.

“It is not going to happen again that some comrades are sitting this side and others sit in that side and when you are sitting you can see the counter action,” Luzipo said.

Join the conversation! 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. 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


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
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 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.