Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Joint Statement: COSATU and SACP Condemn the Killing of Worker Leaders, Attacks on Foreign Nationals, and Calls for Unity
15 April 2015, Cosatu House, Johannesburg

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) condemn in strongest terms possible the killing of South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) Gauteng Provincial Secretary, Comrade Chris Nkosi on Monday evening, and the bombing of the house of the union`s President, Comrade June Dube hours later on Tuesday morning.

A joint delegation of the leadership of the Cosatu and the SACP have earlier today visited the families to give our moral support.

We once more send our message of heartfelt condolences to the family of Comrade Nkosi for the loss suffered. We also acknowledge messages of support from all Cosatu affiliates, Alliance partners and fellow South Africans.

In Comrade Chris Nkosi, we have lost a dedicated and astute negotiator for the workers.

We are calling on all relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned, hunt down the perpetrators of these barbaric acts and bring them to justice, with maximum sentences imposed.

What has happened can only be the work of criminals and/or their fellow collaborators and vigilante groupings in those elements who have been gambling with the unity of the workers.

Cosatu and the SACP say to Satawu leaders and members in particular, and to the working class of our country in general, that:

"This is not the time to be divided - the time which should never come because disunity can only benefit the bosses and those who, wittingly or unwittingly, serve their interests or play in their hands. This is precisely the time to close ranks - that is to unite! This is the time to give no quarter to the exploiters of any sort or to the external manipulators, including those who can only pledge false `solidarity` while in their real life activity they are engaged in destroying Satawu and the overall unity of the working class movement".

In memory of Comrades Violet Seboni, Solomon "Kalushi" Mahlangu, Chris Hani and countless other revolutionaries who died this month of April in our struggle for complete liberation and social emancipation, let us defend working class unity!

In our joint bilateral programme this is the message we will be driving in all sectors of our economy as we build strong and militant affiliates of Cosatu as an independent force of the workers in our liberation Alliance and society in general.

Cosatu has taken the right step in assisting its affiliates, including Satawu, to build unity and cohesion.

The SACP fully supports this programme.

This is an important contribution in building a united Cosatu.

Over the next period the SACP and Cosatu will intensify ground work to ensure the success of this programme.

On 1 May 2015 we will share joint platforms, together with our ally the African National Congress (ANC) across the country as part and parcel of our programme to take working class demands forward. This year`s May Day theme is: `Celebrating 30th Anniversary and Re-Positioning`. We are calling on workers and their families to join the planned May Day activities under leadership of Cosatu.

The month of May is Africa Month. We will dedicate the May Day platforms to urge all South Africans to embrace the Africa Month celebrations and build continental unity.

Attacks on foreign nationals

We condemn in strongest terms possible the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops.

There can be no justification whatsoever for these criminal and backward acts, including xenophobia.

These acts of barbarism must just stop right now!

The law enforcement agencies must stand up from their barracks to the task, and must be more proactive than mainly reactive.

Similarly, we call on all our structures across the country to come out in defence of peace, and in pursuit of peace in communities.

We will strengthen our efforts in this regard on the ground and work together with all progressive community-based organisations who share our belief that Africa belongs to all who live in it.

The bosses who super-exploit foreign nationals and thus force all workers in the race to the bottom must take responsibility for the problems caused by their actions, including the so-called xenophobia.

They must be held accountable!

We call on the government to act decisively against the sectors of the economy which super-exploit foreign nationals as both a replacement of South African workers and evasion of compliance with hard-won labour rights.

All workers must be respected with equal rights independently of any nationality!

We reaffirm the right of the African people and other foreign nationals to be in South Africa in terms of applicable international and national laws which must be respected by all of us together.

We reiterate our principled stance of the rule of democratic law in our country.

In particular, we pledge our international solidarity with all our African brothers and sisters who have been forced out of their respective countries by various forces of circumstances, all of which were socially engineered.

We say: "We are one people"!

Together we have suffered from the historical injustices of displacement, colonial oppression and imperialist exploitation driven in the main by European colonisers and the imperialist powers of the North.

The legacy of under-development and wretchedness left by colonial oppression and imperialist exploitation is the primary cause of the economic and political problems our continent is facing to this day.

The perpetuation of imperialist exploitation involving new methods is reproducing and worsening those problems.

Yet those who are primarily responsible for these problems are basking in the luxury of accumulated surplus wealth mainly expatriated to Europe and North America.

In the face of all of these, we must not be divided by any forms of false consciousness. We must instead unite as Africans and unite with our counterparts from other continents in pursuit of international solidarity, world peace and social justice.

The abuse of learners in community protests

Cosatu and the SACP condemn the violation of leaners` rights in violent protests taking place in communities in which schools are closed and torched and other public infrastructure maliciously damaged in the name of "service delivery". This new tendency of sacrificing the future of our children by abusing and denying them their right to learn is completely unacceptable, and has no place in a democratic society.

We acknowledge the forthcoming principals` seminar organised by the South African Democratic Teachers Unions (SADTU) and related education bodies to deal with this and other challenges facing our education system.

This programme, which we are in full support of, will be cascaded to provinces and districts across the country.

Issued jointly COSATU and the SACP


Acting COSATU National Spokesperson
Ntai Norman Mampane
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1348
Mobile: +27 72 416 3790
Twitter: @_cosatu / @COSATU2015_

SACP National Spokesperson
Alex Mashilo
Mobile: 082 9200 308
Office: 011 339 3621/2
Twitter: SACP1921
Facebook Page: South African Communist Party - SACP

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