Vavi says no to Maimane

2016-05-13 07:20
(News24 Live)

Johannesburg – Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has been dodging offers to join political parties and become Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral candidate, he told News24 on Thursday. 

"A lot of people are approaching me, but I know what I want. Why would I abandon the new federation only to be mayor at some city? A lot of people would be very frustrated if I would announce my candidacy. I don't know what the future holds. We don't know what will happen."

He said DA leader Mmusi Maimane had approached him to form a coalition with the United Front. He said he told Maimane no. Maimane met him after it became obvious that no one would win the elections outright in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, he said. 

- Read more: Vavi downplays DA courtship claims

Vavi said he was sympathetic to the Economic Freedom Fighters. 

"A lot of what the EFF is pushing for is what we were fighting for when they were in the ANC Youth League and I was in Cosatu before the intolerant crowd kicked us out. I can't help but be sympathetic to the EFF. We are the same," he said. 

The proposed new labour federation to rival Cosatu had promised to champion the rights of the workers and the poor. Vavi, who would lead it, said it would not succeed if it did not also address the education and training crisis.

"In 22 years of democracy very little has been done to address the quality of our education system. We cannot compete even with our neighbours, let alone the industrialised economies," he said in a statement.

He said several meetings with other unions were planned in the coming days.