COSATU SEEKS TO HEAL DIVISIONS IN ALLIANCE
COSATU leaders have acknowledged that succession battles in the ANC and in the labour federation are dividing them.
This emerged at the labour federation s cen
’ tral executive committee meeting in the past week which was attended by all the organisation s leaders and affiliates.
At the centre of the division is support for President Jacob Zuma serving a second term as ANC president and succession to general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, should he leave the federation. The elective conferences for both the ANC and Cosatu take place next year.
Vavi and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said at a media briefing that the leaders had confronted each other about the divisions, which they said were destructive and deflected them from their core mandate of defending the workers.
Sunday World understands that the meeting referred to contradictory public statements by leaders.
For example, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and the South African Municipal Workers Union came out in support of the ANC Youth League march for economic freedom last month, while Cosatu was never ambiguous about its position that it did not support the march.
The march was characterised by the meeting as being
counter-revolutionary to the “” ruling party and aimed at undermining the ANC leadership because it was led by ANCYL leaders who were facing ANC disciplinary charges at the time.
Vavi said the federation had decided to confront the difficult challenges facing the labour movement. We felt it was time to address “emerging divisions. We are becoming increasingly incoherent. This has been a major concern.
Matters of succession are affecting “us. We warned before that the issue of succession was likely to take our eyes off the ball. We felt it was time to confront this,” he said.
Vavi said Cosatu also confronted perceived dangers, some of which are not necessarily backed by strong evidence but are trends that if not
“confronted will destroy the federation altogether ”.
However, it will be a fatal error to “understate the problems,” he said.
The tone of the meeting was set by Dlamini, who warned against a leadership stampede that had previously led to divisions within the federation.
FRANK ASSESSMENT: Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and President Jacob Zuma. Picture by Bafana Mahlangu