Vavi says no to ANC NEC nomination

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi will not accept a nomination to the national executive committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC), Cosatu said on Thursday.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the congress and others in the tripartite alliance were seriously concerned about leaders who embraced “patronage, careerism and a culture of sycophancy and boot-licking”.

Craven said Vavi and others had been accused of fighting to defend presidential hopeful Jacob Zuma’s “human rights” because they wanted “plum jobs” in the government or business.

“Refusing to accept nomination is a way of sending a clear message that Cosatu and many in the alliance are not interested in personal advancement but are determined to fight for the people.”

Craven said Vavi’s decision not to stand for the ANC NEC did not in any way contradict the congress’s commitment to swell the ranks of the ANC.

“That never meant swelling the ranks of the movement’s top positions.”

Vavi said he had “no interest whatsoever” in a government of business job.

“As long as I am still the general secretary of Cosatu I want to speak for the workers and want there to be no confusion on this.”

He said it was for these reasons that he had also refused to stand for the central committee of the South African Communist Party.

“I am a firm believer in the principle that the president and general secretary of a trade-union federation like Cosatu should not wear more than one political hat, even within the context of the tripartite alliance,” said Vavi.—Sapa

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