Countries like US trying to destabilise Cosatu – Sdumo Dlamini

2015-11-23 20:50
Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: Lucky Maibi

Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: Lucky Maibi

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Sdumo Dlamini, president of embattled Cosatu, today switched to defensive mode as he said the federation’s problems have been fuelled by people from outside with sinister motives.

In his opening address at the ongoing Cosatu national congress in Midrand, Dlamini told the 2 480 delegates that “the truth” will be revealed to them during the course of the congress.

The issues Dlamini spoke about included the expulsions of Cosatu’s biggest union Numsa and former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, as well as internal divisions and challenges with finances.

At least eight unions boycotted meetings of Cosatu’s central executive committee (CEC) – the highest decision-making body between national congresses – in support of Numsa and Vavi, who have decided to abandon any future plans to appeal their sanctions.

Dlamini cited countries like the United States of America as among those agitating for the division in Cosatu. Dlamini said people, who he did not name, wanted to turn Cosatu against the ANC and the SA Communist Party.

“Thank you for having stood by the organisation,” Dlamini told delegates. “We know you refused when people were saying let us form a new federation; you refused when people were saying Cosatu is dead. You said ‘no we are here’.”

Dlamini added: “We want to thank Fedusa (Federation of Unions of South Africa) and Nactu (National Council of Trade Unions) for refusing to associate yourselves with an agenda that sought to liquidate Cosatu. There have been attempts by many forces. Not all of you knew that people were pumping money into seeing the demise of the federation. Money coming from overseas like countries north of America.”

Dlamini also said he wanted Cosatu’s national office bearers to have powers to intervene in struggling unions. He said that he did not have the capacity to make the constitutional amendment but left it for delegates to decide.

“If I had the power I would propose that the constitution change to allow the CEC to intervene in the unions because it is us that people will march against when things get bad.

“I do not have the power to make those changes, so please discuss and resolve these things amongst yourselves.”

Dlamini said Cosatu was not broke but merely experienced instability in terms of its finances. He said that coming to congress the federation had a choice to either pay workers’ bonuses or convene congress. He said intervention by sponsors saw the federation able to achieve both.

Dlamini said that despite internal divisions, Cosatu was still going strong with up to 2 million members on its books. He said the media was being used to peddle lies about the state of the federation.

“The immediate task is to consolidate the unity of Cosatu through a back to basics campaign.”

Read more on:    zwelinzima vavi  |  sdumo dlamini  |  cosatu congress

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