The Congress of South African Trade Unions reiterates its outright rejection of the African National Congress NEC decision to reinstate comrades Florence Radzilani and Danny Msiza back into the PEC despite them being implicated in Adv Terry Motau’s VBS Mutual Bank corruption Report. The provincial structure of the federation clearly articulated our position on this matter without any ambiguity.
The COSATU National Office has remained silent on this matter because we were hoping that we will be properly briefed by Luthuli House. We are disappointed that we have been forced to take to the public domain to raise this issue because of the failure of the ANC leadership to respond to our request for a meeting. If this VBS episode is not responsibly managed, it has the potential to create unnecessary episodes of public spats amongst the Alliance formations. We call on the ANC to do better for the sake of the Alliance.
We still stand by the ANC Manifesto position that said tainted individuals should step aside until they have been cleared of the allegations facing them. Nothing has changed and we do not understand what informed the ANC NEC to amend this decision without consulting the Alliance. The Alliance Political Council, a recognized structure of the Alliance has not been briefed on this matter and that is a problem.
COSATU encouraged its members to embark on a mass action in 2018 after the report on the looting of the VBS Mutual Bank was released and as a result some of our leaders, who were very vocal on the matter, in the province, were assassinated. The looting of the VBS ranks amongst the most callous cases of corruption in this country.
This naked plundering of poor people’s hard-earned savings by the members of the political and business elite is unforgivable. The ANC as a leader of society has a much bigger responsibility to distance itself from this sad episode in our country.
Instead of reinstating people who are implicated in corruption, we expect the ANC to be joining a chorus of calls for culprits to be arrested and prosecuted.
The Federation was also taken aback to learn that the national leadership of the ANC has been sending invitations to COSATU provincial structures to discuss this matter. The ANC has no mandate or right to address the structures of the federation without clearing that with the national structures of the federation. The independence of Alliance components cannot be continuously put into question by the ANC that is supposed to know best.
As a leading component of the Alliance, the ANC has the primary duty to contribute to strengthening other Alliance components, rebuilding the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) and cultivating an open and democratic space for rigorous debates on issues of importance like the VBS Bank looting rather than resorting to bureaucratic suppression and shifty machinations. Despite the leading role of the ANC in the NDR, the components of the Alliance are equal partners.
COSATU calls on the ANC as the leader of the Alliance to work with other components of the Alliance in ensuring that the Alliance Political Council and the Alliance Secretariat are properly functioning and the political commitments of the ANC Manifesto are not amended randomly but are implemented in provinces and regions. The ANC needs to properly engage other components of the Alliance with a view of developing a common understanding on issues of mutual interests.
We continue to commit ourselves to the renewal and strengthening of all Alliance components and the MDM as part of a strategy of defeating all foreign tendencies and providing the necessary leadership to society.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 679