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Pretoria - A summit of alliance partners, the ANC, SACP and Cosatu, should produce an outcome which unites the parties, Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said on Friday.
“We have been involved in the preparations for this summit for quite a long time. All Cosatu affiliates were participating in the preparations.”
The summit got underway in Pretoria on Friday.
Dlamini downplayed the reported widening rift between the leadership of Cosatu’s biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and alliance partners the African National Congress and SA Communist Party.
“We are not in the business of competing with a Cosatu affiliate in the media or internally,” he said.
“Cosatu leadership is here to engage in critical matters. I am not going to say whether what Numsa is saying is right or wrong. Cosatu has come here to engage on issues of the NDP (National Development Plan) and macro-economic issues,” he said.
Asked what Cosatu would be proposing on contentious issues such as e-tolls and the NDP, Dlamini said positions would be known at the conclusion of the summit.
“What I will avoid to do is, even before the summit begins, is to then say what the outcome would be. We will be united towards an outcome that unites everybody.”
The summit runs until Sunday.
Earlier this month, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe urged Cosatu to focus on its principles.
“Once you close your eyes to those fundamental principles you are going to see the battles that are running now,” he told Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) members at their second national political school in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.
“Those battles are a function of many things.”
Mantashe said one was the development of personalities in the trade union federation.
“When you begin to worship individuals then you are going to kill the thing (Cosatu).”
Cosatu has been divided following allegations of sexual harassment, made by a junior employee, against its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, and his suspension. The allegations were later withdrawn.
Cosatu announced that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing into an affair he had with the junior employee.
Vavi has vowed to challenge his suspension.