COSATU Mandela Day Statement 2021

The Congress of South African Trade Unions joins millions of people around the world to celebrate this significant day in the international calendar, Nelson Mandela Day. This is a day to remember and honour the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s contribution to resolving conflicts and promoting race relations, human rights, and reconciliation. Madiba was towering figure who is known for his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa, and his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and in the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

On this day, we reflect on the serious challenges that face the poor and the oppressed in South Africa and around the world. We salute one the very finest embodiment of our revolution and the best of our people, our beloved Isithwalandwe-Seaparankoe, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

We reaffirm our commitment to confronting and waging a fight against injustice and oppression of whatever kind here at home and around the world.

The challenges facing the working class here and around the world are massive and we have a lot to learn from Madiba at this difficult time.

Domestically, South Africa remains a capitalist society and as a result the legacy and remnants of Apartheid capitalism in relation to “Colonialism of a Special Type (CST)” are still with us. The 1st Quarter of a Century of Freedom benefitted the capitalist class, and the nation is paying a price for entrenching this apartheid economic legacy with GEAR’s neo-liberal framework.

We have a massive task of dismantling this unfair economic system and ensure that everyone has a seat at the table. On this day, we reaffirm to continue in our tireless fight for a shift from the Neoliberal policy paradigm and overcoming the entrenched Apartheid legacy, in particular the glaring racialised, gendered inequalities and the mal distribution of resources and development opportunities.

In the region the people of Swaziland are being massacred by a heartless regime that is suppressing their fight for democracy. Africa continues to suffer from outbreaks of civil wars and the scourge of corruption.  

The Palestnians struggle is still being brutally oppressed. The Zionist Israeli entity in cahoots with Anglo-American imperialism has recently launched a criminal war against the poor and innocent people of Palestine causing a humanitarian crisis that amounts to a crime against humanity.

In CUBA, the US counter-revolution has intensified its brutality against the socialist revolution. Despite this, the Cuban revolution, and its achievements, particularly in terms of the defence of national sovereignty, internationalism, education, health, social services, and participatory democracy, serves as a model and an inspiration to oppressed peoples all over the world.

Madiba never forgot to remind us that the selfless Cuban solidarity in support of the national liberation struggles and socialist revolutions in Africa and Southern Africa in particular, was vital lifeblood of our own liberation and an exemplary principled internationalism.

This reminds us that it is the duty and responsibility of all progressive forces to support the struggle of the Cuban people to defend their sovereignty and the remarkable achievements of their revolution and socialism.

Madiba also taught us a lot about principled, ethical and value driven leadership He was selfless and exemplary in showcasing the components of leading, namely authority, responsibility, delegation, accountability, and power.

All of us have the challenge to emulate and learn from Madiba, who never wavered in his pursuit of justice for the oppressed and defenceless. Mandela Day reminds us of our responsibility to fight all forms of injustice like racism, religious and political persecution, human trafficking, child slavery, poverty etc. We call on all leaders of society and the ANC in particular to take time to reflect on the legacy that Madiba left us, and tap from his well of wisdom to help guide this country towards calm waters.

The legacy of Madiba lives on!

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Cell: 060 975 6794