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Many people who are deployed to positions of power in the country often behave like “jackals”, Gauteng Cosatu chairman Phutas Tseki said on Thursday.
“We need to revolutionise our society to engage on the implementation of progressive policies, and take responsibility, and account to the masses,” he told the Congress of SA Trade Unions 11th provincial congress in Johannesburg.
“There are people we deploy with a view they will lead our transformation agenda, 1/8and when they 3/8 arrive in office they do tricks similar to that of the jackal.”
He said many people in the tripartite alliance saw being deployed to a political office as a means of “self-actualisation”.
“The masses of our people must be first. The masses are the revolution, not the leadership.”
Tseki said the trade union federation was not a political party, and did not want to engage with the country as one.
“We need to declare that we are not a political party, and there is nothing in our policies that reflect us to be a political party.”
Tseki said many members of the ANC-SACP-Cosatu alliance viewed the union federation as “oppositionists”.
“Our strength cannot be oppositional, but is in fact due to the love of our allies and the country. We refuse to hide our heads in the sand when the leader of the alliance is indicating left, but turning right.”
He said five SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) members and their provincial chairman were suspended for being whistle-blowers.
“Samwu has reported many corrupt practices in our province and government is very slow in dealing with this matter,” Tseki said.
“There should be an investigation and all those who are found to be in the wrong must do our government good by resigning.
“I think (former Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey) comrade Mmezi did the right thing by leaving.”
Tseki said if the alliance was “truly” involved in the discussion around the implementation of e-tolling system, the country would not need to worry about new tolls.
He said this was a sign that national liberation movements, including the ANC, were approaching right-wing positions. This was due to the “class character of the left axis of the ANC” not being maintained.
“Where was the alliance when the e-tolls were going through their conception, and where was the alliance when the country's inequality was worsening?”
He said Cosatu was disappointed by the government's response to the anti-toll march on March 7.
“(Government spokesman Jimmy) Manyi said, and I quote: 'Toll roads are a reality, not a bad dream'.
“Now who is dreaming? It is Mr Manyi who is dreaming?”
SA Communist Party (SACP) Gauteng secretary Jacob Mamabolo told the conference the party was “worried” about the state of the alliance in the province.
“The alliance is not at the point where it should be. There is a tendency of the state in the province to unleash terror on workers.”
Mamabolo said the SACP would approach the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in December with a view to “defend the gates of Polokwane”. The ANC held its last elective conference in Polokwane in 2007.
“There is no clean slate in Mangaung. We are carrying on with the tradition of Polokwane. We want the maximum unity of the alliance.”
The conference accepted nominations for leadership positions on Thursday, but the top positions were all unchallenged.
Tseki retained his position as chairman. Macy Sekaledi was the only nomination for deputy chair. Dumisani Dakile retained his position as secretary, and Pulane Mokgotsi was the only nomination for treasurer. - Sapa