FULL TEXT: Cosatu meets on ConCourt ruling

2016-04-05 16:06

COSATU Political Commission meeting statement

The Congress of South African Trade Unions convened an urgent Political Commission {PC} meeting today, 05th of April 2016, to debate the Constitutional Court ruling its resultant political implications and other range of political issues.

The meeting resolved and urged that the Constitutional Court’s ruling should be welcomed by all South Africans, and that its clarity on the powers of the Public Protector is very helpful for our young democracy. We reiterate our earlier call that all concerned parties should implement the recommendations contained in the court’s ruling without fail.

The Political Commission noted, discussed and duly agreed to accept the president’s apology and commended him on his commitment to reimburse the state some of the monies spend on his Nkandla residence upgrades. This court ruling should act as a wakeup call for both the executive and the National Assembly to do some serious introspection. They need to reflect deeply on what the court said and make sure that they do everything to win over the violated confidence of the people of South Africa.

COSATU calls on the ANC leadership collective to provide the necessary leadership to the movement, the Alliance and the entire society. Despite their personal positions and views, they need to act to defend the revolutionary character of the movement and the revolution itself.

The meeting also commended the ANC veterans for showing concern and trying to give guidance to the movement. Their knowledge, experience and loyalty is exemplary and commendable but we call on them to engage directly with the ANC and use the available platforms to help the movement fix its weaknesses. The ANC leadership should also make sure that they do not allow the 54th ANC Conference issues to defocus and occupy the movement’s attention. This is going to weaken and defocus the movement and open a space for its enemies to capitalise. 

As a leader of society, the ANC should act to stop the corporate capture of the state, eliminate corruption and also make sure that its deployees execute their mandates with integrity and diligence. It should defend and protect its moral authority and standing by ensuring that there is discipline and accountability inside the organisation and in its government. The movement should take urgent steps to dry the swamp in which these hypocritical opposition parties feed.

COSATU denounced the call by the DA and other opposition parties for the president of the country to be impeached. We view this as a self serving political ploy to confuse the public’s mind and an attack not only on the ANC, but to the ANC and all those who voted for the party. Their target is not the president but the ANC and its allies in general.

The federation will never agree with the DA because we know what they stand for. They stand for the exploitation of the workers and the working class. The DA will use all tactics and gimmicks to limit or reverse qualitative democratic advances made by the ANC government, defend the ill-gotten white privileges and undermine the ANC’s electoral victories.  

We agree that the ANC needs to clean house and openly acknowledge that issues such as corruption and corporate capture of the state are a big problem for the movement and its government. But that does not mean that we have to succumb to the machinations of the imperialist political forces that are in pursuit of a regime change agenda.

Beneath these hysterical calls for the impeachment of the president there’s an undercurrent of imperialist political manipulation. We should refuse to be driven by anger, panic and individual frustrations into an age of unreason.

COSATU calls on the ANC MP’s to vote against the motion to impeach the president. They should not do this to defend and serve an individual but to defend our revolutionary gains. They should remember that they do not represent themselves and their personal views but a movement that is in pursuit of the National Democratic Revolution.

There are existing internal organisational platforms and processes to address all issues of concern and they should be used to fix what is wrong with the movement. We also condemn SANDU for calling for the removal of the president and we strongly believe that their actions are treasonous and should be given the necessary attention by those in charge. We cannot have a situation where an army union is involved in calls for regime change.

The meeting appreciated the ANC’s commitment to convene a meeting of the Alliance on the Nkandla matter and we look forward to engaging candidly with our allies on this issue. We call on all members and structures to defend the movement and the revolution by campaigning and voting for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections.   

The role of GUPTAS

COSATU is deeply worried by the role that the Guptas are playing to influence the state. We have no reason not to believe the disciplined ANC cadres, who alleges that they were offered positions by the Guptas. Our experiences with Guptas as employers mean that we will take the word of ANC cadres than listen to them. They have no regard for our labour laws in our country in areas where they do business.

Workers at Sun- City have shared their painful experiences of how the family treated them with contempt including sing racial undertones when dealing and talking to them. The workers at ANN7 have communicated their painful experiences and our 12th Congress declared ANN7, their television station, as the worse employer.

COSATU calls on President Jacob Zuma to openly distance himself from the Gupta family. He should reprimand them and make it clear that they do not have his tacit support or endorsement.  Their overconfidence and bravado is proof that they view the relationship with the president and his family as a ticket to interfere in state and ANC affairs.

The GUPTA family has embarrassed, weakened and divided the movement at all levels. They are a huge political liability and if the ANC investigation proves that they have been conniving with some government officials to interfere in state affairs, COSATU wants them to be dealt with decisively. The meeting also condemned the Guptas for using their media to create factionalism and divisions in the ANC. They must be told in no uncertain terms that their actions are not acceptable.

The meeting appreciated the bravery of the SACP for speaking out and leading from the front in fighting the capture of the state by the Gupta and others. The voice of the SACP has been consistent and unambiguous on corporate capture and we expect the ANC to also openly speak out on this dangerous phenomenon.

Monopoly Capital is not guiltless

The meeting pointed out that the capture of the state goes way beyond the Guptas. While the Guptas might be vulgar and crude in their interference in state affairs, COSATU believes that the most dangerous parasitic element is the sophisticated, quiet and clandestine monopoly capital and white monopoly capital in particular. Unfortunately they have found staunch supporters inside our movement, who are prepared to protect the interests of white monopoly capital and do the bidding for imperialism. They have managed to stop the ANC from pursuing the NDR in a revolutionary way and have blunted its revolutionary character.

These are the people who call for the de-regulation of labour markets, resulting in the increase in the rate of exploitation of the working class.  They are the ones who advocate for the de-regulation of financial markets in order that big business can maximise its profits. We have heard them calling for the liberalisation of trade in order to facilitate the integration of the South African economy into the global chains of production, which will ultimately limit the capacity of the country to industrialise.

While the insatiable Guptas want to capture the state in order to continue their accumulation on the basis of corruption, monopoly capital want to capture the state in order to drive a policy agenda which is against the policies of the movement. It would be foolhardy to shine the spotlight on the Guptas and give a pass to the biggest and most ruthless looters, monopoly capital. 

Stop privatisation

The meeting concluded that privatisation and the movement’s failure to honour its commitment to strengthen the capacity of the state suits the Gupta family and others like them perfectly. We call on the ANC to act to improve the efficiency and capacity of the state. They should conduct a skills audit to check the qualifications and experience of senior managers and board members and should stop relying on expensive consultants and advisors in order to root out corruption and looting.   They should forget about privatising SOE’s and should instead ensure that they are be funded by the state, through progressive tax system, retirement funds and insurance.

The federation reiterates its call for state entities to refrain from raising their issues in public, when there are relevant platforms. We also warn government to rein in state institutions that are interfering in political affairs and illegally extending their mandate outside of the legal processes. 

COSATU reiterates its call that if the movement is to maintain its unity and clarity of purpose and policy, the parasitic element that uses the state to loot and neutralise its policy positions should be isolated from the ranks of the movement. Unless the ANC and the rest of the motive forces become assertive and stamp their authority on government, we will continue to suffer from corruption, incoherence and discord, and will fail to deliver to the people. 


Read more on:    cosatu  |  jacob zuma

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