/ 19 April 2013

Numsa workers stand up for Vavi

Numsa Workers Stand Up For Vavi

Sylvia Mlonyeni, Western Cape
When you are speaking the truth, you become an enemy. Vavi did nothing but say things the way they are. His interest is with the workers. All the issues he raises, such as labour brokers and e-tolls, are issues that affect the poor. Vavi is the enemy because he is raising issues from the Freedom Charter. He is raising the same issues that our leaders in the government raised before. Now that people are in key positions, they forget worker issues.

Yaaseen Abrahams, Western Cape
The campaign against Vavi goes back to the Cosatu national congress, where faceless individuals tried unsuccessfully to remove him from his position. He was elected by the workers’ parliament. The investigation against Vavi is nothing but a smear campaign against him. Why were all these issues not raised during the Cosatu conference?

We all know that Vavi declined nomination for a position as ANC national executive committee ­member. Maybe this might have sparked the whole thing. Even Numsa general secretary [Irvin Jim], who rejected nomination, is also ­subjected to consistent attacks.

Xolani Mkunqwana, Hlanganani region
The attack against Vavi for us has to do with the fact that he is on the side of workers. Some people believe he is opposed to the ANC government, but it is not true. The reason he is attacked is that all the time he articulates issues that affect poor people. We believe there are people from our ranks who are benefiting from e-tolls and labour brokers.

We defended him during the conference and we are intending to defend him now because there is nothing that he has done. It’s surprising that some unions were not there when their workers needed them the most, but now they are leading the campaign to remove Vavi.

Lazola Ndlazilwana, Eastern Cape
It is surprising that, a few months after we as workers elected Vavi to his position, there are now corruption allegations against him from faceless people from Cosatu. It is sad and disappointing that we have leaders spreading unfounded allegations against Vavi. He is the voice of ­reason in Cosatu.

Nomalanga Cebekhulu, KwaZulu-Natal
We are not saying he did not do anything wrong, but we must remain principled and not run to the media with the allegations. We have structures in the organisation where people can raise their issues. Vavi has been clear on labour brokers and nationalisation.

These are thorny issues. We believe we should defend Vavi because he is able to carry our mandate as workers.