Sunday World - - World Of Politics - MOIPONE MALEFANE

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

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