Metalworkers union Numsa has all but dashed hopes that the ANC could broker a truce to end the acrimonious dispute between Cosatu and some of its affiliates.
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said on Monday that the ANC was currently the last organisation to play a mediation role in its long-standing differences with Cosatu.
He suggested that the party was increasingly descending into a capitalistic organisation that represented white monopoly while sinking into tyranny by supporting a exploitative labour market.
“They (ANC)…want the working class to go and ask for permission from the bourgeoisie (party) about how to liberate themselves. Despite the ANC embarking on e-tolls, the NDP (National Development Plan) and labour broking, we must still go on to say this is a revolutionary organisation,” said Jim.
Media reports at the weekend quoted ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as saying the party wanted “to protect the integrity of Cosatu’s unity and we don’t believe that unity should be sacrificed at the altar of personal and individual interests”.
Ramaphosa said while this did not mean dropping charges against Cosatu’s suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, “everything should be looked at from a positive rather than a punitive view”.
Jim on Monday denied the SACP’s accusations that he and his deputy Karl Cloete were “long-standing business partners” in Numsa Investment Company and its subsidiary firms. He said while he would welcome any independent lifestyle audits into the matter, as demanded by the SACP, the probe had to start with the party’s senior leaders – including Nzimande.
He accused the SACP of trying to destabilise Numsa ahead of its special national congress later this month.
The SACP wanted members to arrive at the congress believing Numsa had a corrupt leadership.
He said the party’s general secretary, Blade Nzimande, was a hypocrite. “Blade must stop coming with flimsy propaganda. This is cheap propaganda to destabilise and defocus the real issue, which is that we need a full implementation of the Freedom Charter that the ANC adopted (in 1955).
“Where have you seen a communist party that doesn’t address the property factor to address squalor and poverty? Those are the fundamental issues.
“Instead, they (SACP) talk about confused socialism.”
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the party would “stop at nothing to address the challenges in Cosatu”.
“It pains us seeing what is happening in Cosatu.
“We have confidence in the team that is led by comrade Cyril,” Mthembu said, adding that the party would not respond to “insults” by Numsa.
He denied that the ANC had abandoned the principles of the Freedom Charter.