Monday, August 26, 2013

ANC Secretary General Warns Against the Cult of Personality in South Africa

Aug 21 2013 7:08PM

Mantashe warns against the cult of personality

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned that worshipping individuals would kill Cosatu.

Luyolo Mkentane
New Age, South Africa

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned that worshipping individuals would kill Cosatu.

He said leaders were ignoring the principle of the labour movement and were developing a "cult of personality".

Speaking at the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union's (Popcru) national political school in Benoni on Wednesday, Mantashe said some union leaders were siding with suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, while others supported Sdumo Dlamini, the Cosatu president.

"You are going to kill the federation because it is not meant to be like that," said Mantashe
Cosatu unions including the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, SA Municipal Workers Union and the Food and Allied Workers Union were seen to be sympathetic to Vavi, while Popcru, the National Union of Mineworkers and the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union were seen to be against him.

Mantashe said had it not been for divisions within the federation, Cosatu would be having about 10 members sitting in the ANC national executive committee (NEC), instead of four. Dlamini sits on the NEC.

Taking to the podium, Mantashe turned to Dlamini and joked: "I don't know whether by Monday there will still be a Cosatu."

Cosatu is beset by challenges including a sex scandal which saw Vavi placed on special leave last Wednesday. Vavi convened a press conference on Friday, where he accused Dlamini of circulating an intelligence report, aimed at damaging him, to Cosatu union leaders who attended the special Cosatu central executive committee meeting that suspended him.

Dlamini hit back on Tuesday, saying leaders should not use the media and the courts to engage with Cosatu.

Vavi has not ruled out approaching the courts to fight his suspension.

Without naming Vavi, SA Communist Party central executive committee member, Charles Setsubi, said Cosatu had allowed the cult of personality to develop, "whereby an individual becomes the organisation".

Earlier this year, Mantashe said Cosatu was on a dangerous downward spiral.

He said a programme for the tripartite alliance summit starting next Thursday would be announced on Thursday.

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