SACP was hasty on Metsimaholo by-elections - Cosatu

2017-12-01 10:32
Sdumo Dlamini (File)

Sdumo Dlamini (File)

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Johannesburg – Trade union federation Cosatu has accused the SACP of moving ahead of the workers on its decision to go it alone in this week's by-elections in Metsimaholo, Free State.

The SACP, in a historic move, contested for power in the municipality's 21 wards in by-elections on November 29. However, it didn't have the might and support of workers behind it. A Cosatu resolution dictates that its unions and members would campaign and vote only for the ANC during elections.

The federation's deputy general secretary, Solly Phetoe, explained to journalists during a media briefing following the federation's central executive committee (CEC) meeting why it couldn't support the SACP.

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"We have a resolution coming from the 12th national congress of Cosatu to support the ANC during the elections," said Phetoe.

He added that the decision could only be reviewed by congress, which is scheduled for September 2018.

Expanding on the federation's views, its president Sdumo Dlamini told News24 that Cosatu sees the SACP as the vanguard which must always represent the working class.

"Otherwise you plunge the SACP into a quagmire of moving ahead of everybody and failing on the expectations of the working class," said Dlamini.

Members' dilemma

Results for the hotly-contested polls have yet to be officially released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). Huffington Post has reported that it is still investigating vote rigging claims brought by the SACP against its alliance partner, the ANC.

Dlamini said the SACP presented its own congress outcomes on popular and state power, along with the communist party's view on contesting elections to the CEC this week.

"We said, 'Allow us as Cosatu to engage on what you are saying'," he said insisting, however, that the federation's congress decision to support the ANC in every local, provincial and national election stood.

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Dlamini said Cosatu understood and respected the SACP's decision, but that in the journey it had chosen to undertake it needed to make sure that it remained in touch with the workers so the communist party doesn’t end up at odds with the working class.

He told News24 that the CEC told the SACP it made the decision to contest hastily.

"In this context you had Cosatu workers in that space who have issues, issues with the ANC who also know Cosatu's decision on the ANC," said Dlamini.

"You are putting them into a bit of a dilemma, are they going to be behaving like they are ill-disciplined in Cosatu by ignoring the congress resolution, or are they ill-disciplined as members of the SACP by ignoring the congress position of the communist party?" he asked.

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  bloemfontein  |  local elections  |  local government

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