The Economic Freedom Fighters have warned that all those with a radical agenda will be isolated and portrayed as anti-ANC leading up to the elections.
The EFF was reacting to this week's suspensions of general secretary of the Congress of Union (Sadtu) Thobile Ntola. Ntola was suspended after accepting Vavi's apology over a sex scandal with a 26-year-old colleague during the union's regional conference in Port Elizabeth. Vavi was suspended for having a sexual relationship with a junior staffer in the federation's offices.
"The suspension of Vavi and Ntola does not come as a shock to the EFF. In June we said Cosatu will soon be swallowed into the same politics of reforms, and all those who push for a radical agenda will be isolated … The dominant ANC/SACP faction in Cosatu will rid it of independent progressive leaders," said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlovu.
Furthermore, it claimed that independent trade unions, like Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), will continue to emerge and grow bigger because Cosatu unions will gradually fail to represent workers.
The EFF considers Ntola and Vavi as representatives of a militant and radical fighting spirit of the working class. The newly formed party, that is led by Julius Malema, has labelled the Zuma administration as reactionary, corrupt, and directionless, and "hell-bent on extinguishing all left forces and threats to big capital".
"These are leaders who are honest and admitted to the blunders that the working class was led into in 2007. They refused to be co-opted by the corrupt elements in the state. These are worker leaders who enjoy massive support on the ground,” said Ndlovu.
On Thursday, Sadtu in the Nelson Mandela Metro in the Eastern Cape echoed the same warning that both these leaders' suspension could have dire consequences for the ANC and next year’s elections in the region. Regional chairperson Mazotsho Dukwe said Vavi and Ntola were instrumental in ensuring victory for the ANC, especially in the embattled Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
"There are areas which were referred to as no-go areas and it was Cosatu that was able to go to those areas, persuade people to vote for the ANC, in particular Vavi and Ntola.”
The EFF has predicted that Cosatu will again in 2014 be forced towards supporting and funding ZANC (Zuma's ANC) elections, which entails supporting and funding the National Development Plan, eTolls, Labour Brokers and continuation of capitalist repression.
"The EFF’s message to these leaders is that they should never be silenced by palace politics. They should in their own chosen platforms continue to fight for the economic emancipation of the black majority and Africans in particular. EFF will at all times, associate with leaders and progressive forces that fight for economic freedom and progressive agenda, despite of their current political homes,” Ndlovu assured.
During a media conference on Thursday, Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini assured that Cosatu will neither split nor succumb under anyone’s agenda, except for that of the workers that it represents. "Our internal processes are not informed and cannot be influenced by politics. In the special meeting that suspended Vavi there were no victors and no losers. Cosatu must win."
He made a mention that the ANC has been engaging with Cosatu because they are concerned.
Spokesperson for the ANC Keith Khoza said they would not be commenting on Vavi’s suspension until Cosatu has handled all the enquiries relating to this matter. “We will be guided by the leadership of the ANC as to whether we should get involved or not," he said.