Cosatu NOBs under threat

2013-11-18 23:07
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Cosatu march against tolls, brokers

Members of Cosatu marched against e-tolling and labour brokers in numerous cities across the country. See all the pictures.

Johannesburg - Cosatu's national office bearers (NOBs) are under threat because they are seen as standing in the way of the achievement of some undefined objectives, president Sidumo Dlamini said on Monday.

"There is commitment to a war to remove some individuals who have been defined as enemies because they sit in the ANC NEC [African National Congress national executive committee] and in the SACP [SA Communist Party] central committee," Dlamini said.

"Drums of war are being beaten throughout the night, mobilising comrades to war.

"Financial resources have been mobilised for this war, we are told, journalist are being approached with envelopes; given stories to paint this or that leader, to plant a seed of doubt to these leaders, and to put into question their credibility," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC) meeting.

Dlamini said that attempts were being made to deepen divisions among the NOBs and that everyone was moving to protect their own space and position.

He said this meant that counter-battles were being waged at night, while marches which dragged his office into the mud were held during the day because he dared to stand up and defend the constitution and the integrity of the Congress of SA Trade Union's (Cosatu) policies.

Held to ransom

"This NOB collective is being threatened that it will be removed; they are being insulted for doing the work for which they were elected," he said.

"Our organisations are being dragged into battles to protect egos of individual comrades.... As the NOB collective, we are concerned about how the organisation is being held to ransom about executing its own policies."

Cosatu should be allowed to implement its own policies free of pressure to accommodate or bend the law to suit individuals, he said.

Dlamini said the NOBs would stay and complete their terms in office, even if there was an intention to remove them.

He said he would present the CEC with a report on the preparations for Cosatu's special congress.

Cosatu was concerned that unions like the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) were contemplating leaving the alliance, Dlamini said.

"Even before Numsa went public about these considerations, we have been observing a conduct from our union which was beginning to give signals the union is independent from any resolutions and decisions taken by the federation and will only support those which favour them," he said.

"So, when the union made a public announcement about what it was contemplating... this could not be divorced from its public posture which appeared to be that of replacing its role to that of a federation," said Dlamini.

He said Numsa's approach to call a special congress was wrong and that the union was using its status as a majority union in the wrong manner.

The NOBs had said Numsa should be given a chance to explain itself in the CEC, and Dlamini said Cosatu wanted engage with Numsa in the boardroom and not in the media.

"It is only a blind person or those who refuse to see the truth, that the silly little yet destructive wars we are fighting against each other do not stand to benefit anyone, and no one will ever win," he said.

"Instead, there is going to be a reciprocal siege or mutual destruction of the very contending parties, and in the process the federation will go down with all this current generation of leaders."

On Monday, Dlamini told PowerFM Cosatu was preparing for a special congress, but said a date had not yet been set.

Zwelinzima Vavi

Nine of Cosatu's 19 affiliates called for a special national congress after Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was placed on special leave in August for having an affair with a junior employee.

However, in September, Dlamini said Vavi did not feature in the reasons the member unions had given for calling the special congress.

Vavi was put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing about his affair.

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Numsa lodged an application in the High Court in Johannesburg challenging Vavi's suspension.

Vavi then lodged papers to be added as an applicant in Numsa's challenge, and asking the court to grant him an interim order interdicting and restraining Cosatu from enforcing any decision taken at its CEC meeting in August.

He wants final relief to review and set aside the decision to suspend him and institute disciplinary proceedings.


Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  numsa  |  sidumo dlamini  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  politics

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