The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) welcomes today’s decision of the Johannesburg High Court dismissing with costs AMCU’s lawsuit against COSATU. AMCU had launched a lawsuit against the federation after its leaders recently called out AMCU’s disruptive and undemocratic tendencies in the platinum mining sector. The union had alleged in its court submissions that the statements by the leadership of COSATU were instigating violence and they were asking for a court to issue a court order stopping COSATU from speaking against AMCU and its leadership.
We are very happy that the court dissected their application and concluded that it misses the mark and therefore has no merit. This victory for COSATU sends a clear message that no one is immune from public scrutiny and criticism. Union leaders cannot continue to misuse the courts of law to silence their critics; they need to address and respond to the factual issues being raised instead of resorting to litigation. People cannot hide behind courts to avoid accountability and public enquiry.
We remain adamant that the tradition of subjecting everyone in a leadership position in the country to a thorough process of democratic accountability should never be compromised.
COSATU will never incite violence and we are proud of always acting within the framework of the country’s laws. The robust debates cannot be silenced by court processes and we support the court’s decision to dismiss the application with costs because it will stop union leaders from being vexatious litigants. Our overburdened courts should not be misused by leaders who do not want to be held accountable for their action and statements.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794