Numsa responds

Zwelinzima Vavi. (Delwyn Verasamy , M&G)

Zwelinzima Vavi. (Delwyn Verasamy , M&G)

Edited allegations and responses follow.

Allegation one
Numsa is "oppositionist" and Vavi is accused of political deviation, and taking hegemonising positions and an ideological posture that is not consistent with the tradition of the federation.

Numsa's response
Our view is that it is not the job of the federation, the general secretary of the federation or any of its affiliates to be liked by the ANC or the South African Communist Party. Our primary job is to represent the agreed policies of the federation. The test is whether we have done that, not whether we have displeased independent organisations with whom we are in an alliance.

We also reject [the] allegation of political rupture, that we seek to turn Cosatu into a political party. Cosatu and its affiliates do not organise workers on the basis of their political affiliations. It is disingenuous to suggest that if the ANC or SACP are not happy with the general secretary speaking on behalf of workers, there is a rupture. The yardstick is whether the general secretary of Cosatu or any leader or affiliate deviates from Cosatu resolutions or not. Our primary task is to take forward the mandate we receive from workers, independent of whether or not such mandate angers others or makes them happy.

Allegation two
Numsa leaders are populists.

Numsa's response
We are not on the same page as those who label others ­counter-revolutionaries, workerists and so on. We fundamentally disagree with the practice of attaching labels on the pretext of having democratic debate. The deputy general secretary of the SACP has been consistently painting Cosatu in a bad light for implementing its resolutions on civil society and e-tolling. He attempted to blackmail Cosatu by claiming that it was "ideologically confused" and, at some point, he said Cosatu and the Democratic Alliance were "strange bedfellows" on e-tolls. The intended effect was to scare Cosatu away from the e-toll campaign. Even the secretary general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, went on to say that Cosatu was preparing for an "MDC option", when the federation convened civil society formations to canvass support for its growth path document. The behaviour of alliance partners and their failure to respect the independence of Cosatu to implement its policies, does harm. We refuse to let anyone other than Cosatu itself define and set the parameters of its independence.

Allegation three
Vavi behaves in a factional manner and Numsa is locked into a faction with him and therefore can't be disciplined.

Numsa's response
The role of the general secretary is not to straddle different ideological strands, that is the job of the congress. The job of the general secretary is to implement the decisions of the constitutional structures of the federation, most notably its congress. That is what we have seen comrade Vavi doing. In fact, the factional behaviour that we have observed has come from elsewhere, from those who sought in that congress to characterise that document as "Vavi's document" rather than a document of the central executive committee.

Allegation four
Vavi reported affiliates to Corruption Watch.

Numsa response
We have no knowledge about whether he did or did not do so. At this stage, we simply want to remind the facilitators of the resolution taken at Cosatu's 11th congress to fight corruption.

We fully support Cosatu's Corruption Watch initiative and acknowledge the efforts of the office of the public protector.

Leadership in the alliance and in government should declare their business interests. Comrades must be encouraged to report and expose incidences of corruption vigorously and unapologetically, irrespective of rank or affiliation.



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