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Response to attacks by COSATU NOBs

The Nine-Plus progressive COSATU trade unions are outraged by the speeches delivered at the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Congress by the ‘COSATU 2nd Deputy President’, Zingiswa Losi, on the 29th July 2015, and by President Sidumo Dlamini to the Gauteng Provincial Congress on 4 August 2015.

The current leadership of the federation hopes to convince those affiliates who are boycotting meetings of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) to “return home”, yet the unconstitutionally appointed 2nd Deputy President, while saying that “we cannot treat them like our enemies” was doing exactly that and bombarding them with a stream of lies and insults. Although not mentioning our unions by name, there can be no doubt that she is referring to us, the unions who are refusing to attend CEC meetings and we reject every claim that she makes against us.

We attended the Special national Congress (SNC) on 13-14 July in the hope that we would convince delegates to reclaim their federation from a leadership which had plunged COSATU into its deepest ever crisis by expelling its biggest affiliate, NUMSA and its 365 000 members, and the General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi.

Far from “wanting to divide COSATU” and “use its carcass to form a new Federation” as Losi claims, our purpose was to reclaim the federation for the workers and to unite and rebuild a strong, independent and worker-controlled COSATU and this remains our goal. We reject with contempt the charge that we “will continue to beat the drums of divisions”. On the contrary we are the champions of unity and it is the current leadership who must shoulder all the responsibility for the divisions which now exist. The only drums that we are beating are those of unity and we shall never stop doing so.

Far from wanting “to turn a blind eye on the misconducts (sic) against our constitution and our federation” our unions went to the SNC to condemn precisely such “misconduct” by the current leadership, which has flagrantly undermined the constitution. Indeed it continued to do this during the course of the SNC, which was ruthlessly manipulated to stifle any debate on the issues our affiliates were raising. The worst example was the outrageous, unprecedented and unconstitutional decision to take votes on a show of hands, in order to intimidate delegates, a process which degenerated into a cruel farce.

[See the statement issued by the Nine Plus immediately after the SNC on 14 July 2015 here]

We are disgusted by Losi’s suggestion that we want “to destroy COSATU and steal it so that it can be used at the service of other agendas whose strategic objective is to effect regime change”. This is nothing less than an accusation of treason against loyal South Africans. Her scandalous view was echoed by COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini when he said that “Well organized groups are financed and equipped by outside western interests. Ultra-nationalists and mercenaries take hold of the protesting crowds and set the direction and pace of action, secure in the knowledge that they have the global reach of the western powers at their backs.”

The Nine Plus unions also condemn the slur made by COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini at the Gauteng Provincial congress on 4 August 2015, that “When they call for a march against corruption we must remind them that they themselves are fugitives who ran away from answering to charges of corruption”. If he has any evidence of corruption against any of the march’s organisers, let him produce the evidence or shut up!

These speeches illustrate just how degenerate the current leadership has become in its desperate attempt to prevent shore up their power by the most unscrupulous means. But it will not prevent their inevitable defeat when the workers arise to reconstruct what COSATU used to be – a powerful sword and shield for the working class of South Africa.

Statement issued by the Nine Plus Unions, The Real COSATU

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