Vavi mum on ‘banana republic’

vavi_june 13 INLSA Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has said he will present “the real report” when the trade union federation central committee meets later this month, and declined to be drawn on what he said was “leaked inappropriately by an ill-disciplined member”.

Vavi is reported to have warned that South Africa could become a “banana republic” if the ANC Youth League succeeded in removing President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe from their positions in the ruling party, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

He reportedly also said relations between Cosatu and the ANC had unravelled before the ruling party’s national general council meeting last September.

Vavi said on Sunday it wasn’t clear which version of his political report formed the basis for the article. “I’m not denying it. I’m not confirming it. I can’t comment.”

It is understood the Cosatu leader would have compiled a review of the past two years as part of his political assessment and distributed it to union leaders and structures for their input ahead of Cosatu’s central committee meeting on June 27.

One union official said the newspaper report was based on a draft.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said that according to long-standing practice, the federation would “not comment on a report based on leaked documents”, but added that all central committee plenary sessions were open to the media, which had “been invited to attend … and to report on its discussions and decisions”.

Neither the ANC nor the SACP wanted to comment, with the ANC saying “there’s no confirmation that this is an official report”.

That all is not well between Cosatu and the ANC is not a secret.

Although Cosatu at its last conference voted to support the tripartite alliance, there have been several public spats with the ruling party.

Vavi and other senior officials have been vocal in criticising tenderpreneurs – dubbed “the predator elite” – and the government’s lack of action in rooting out the tendency.

Cosatu has called for an urgent investigation into the alleged misuse of R1 million of taxpayers’ money by Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka, who remains on sick leave.

Last week, Cosatu and the National Union of Mineworkers called for a freeze on sweeping changes to the boards of Denel and Eskom, where just two board members survived, pending proper consultations.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said neither Cosatu nor Vavi had raised any issues for discussion at bilateral meetings or at the tripartite alliance meeting before last month’s local government elections.

It was “difficult to talk via a third party, the media”, he added.

Regarding comments about the ANC Youth League’s reported lobbying against Zuma, Khoza said this was not an issue. The youth league, ANC Women’s League and the veterans held 10 percent of the vote at the ANC’s national conference, where branches made the choice.

“I can say with certainty that ANC branches are not involved in lobbying,” Khoza said, adding that this would start only once provinces began their preparations.

“The focus now is on the ANC’s centenary,” he added.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande also did not want to be drawn. “Why do we allow ourselves to be diverted by sensation in the media? Let us focus on the things that could make a difference to the lives of our people.

“I don’t want to debate what we see in the media,” he said.

It is understood that a meeting between the SACP and Cosatu will take place soon. The SACP has repeatedly come under fire from Cosatu over Nzimande’s dual role as general secretary and higher education minister.

The party dismissed this, saying the move was politically strategic as the SACP could not marginalise itself from contesting power in the state when it aimed to build influence across society. - Political Bureau



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Anonymous, wrote

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02:05pm on 13 June 2011
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Some of the comments here lack political maturity...

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:03am on 13 June 2011
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South Africans are now getting used to Zwelinzima Vavi's fuzzy and twisted logic. Vavi says that South Africa will become a banana republic if Jacob Zuma and Gwede Mantashe do not get a second term. He cannot be serious. How so, because South Africa became a banana republic, when Vavi and his friends, out of blind hatred for Thabo Mbeki, voted for Jacob Zuma and Gwede Mantashe. In the same breath, Vavi talks about a predatory elite when his own comrade, Jacob Zuma and his family have benefitted immensely since he became president. Zuma's sons, wives and fiancees are all lining up to drink from the trough, and Vavi tells us that as a result Zuma deserves a second term. Vavi tells us that Zuma is "our project" but is he so blind to notice that the "project" has unravelled. Zuma has benefitted neither the poor nor the working class. Surely, South Africa willm no longer be a banana republic if Zuma and Mantashe are replaced by the likes of Kgalema Motlanthe. It seems to me Vavi is so politically ambitious that he is oblivious to the facts and truth.Vaivi has already indicated that he aspires to a senior position in the ANC.He also seems to be oblivious to ANC democratic processes. Vavi has always been peddling these lies that Zuma became president, as a result of COSATU's struggles. Nothing could be further from the truth. COSATU has very little influence in ANC branches. Zuma could not have become president of the ANC without the support of the ANC Youth League, which is very influential in the branches. If it is true that the ANC Youth League is disillusioned with Zuma (plenty of reasons), if they tell him that he should not avail himself in 2012 he will be wise to do so. If he is going to be stubborn like Maile influenced by his political advisers he will be in big trouble later on. The ANC Youth League and Julius Malema are not perfect, and raises serious issues in uncomfortable ways, but Vavi should think again if he thinks he is going to win a confrontation with the league in the ANC. All this talk about a "rightwing faction" in the ANC, by the likes of Vavi and Blade Nzimande is blue lies and unfortunately they seem to believe their own lies.

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Marumo, wrote

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10:01am on 13 June 2011
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Very True Morgan

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Morgan, wrote

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09:38am on 13 June 2011
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JuJu will be the cause of the ANC collapse!!!!!

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Ali, wrote

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09:26am on 13 June 2011
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This is a "leaked document" for sure, and really difficult to comment with certrainty, as a lot would change when it is presented as a final product! But it is clear again that as an "internal diccussion" document it throws light on what is actually happening in the relationship, this is like a 3rd party getting the thoughts of what one spouse has about the other! But it is honest, just that it doesn't sit well with some. The "warning" from the Cosatu GS is a timely one and should be taken seriously, but one hopes that we really do not go down that route of a "banana republic". It is only mischievous views of those who now claim "SA is already becoming a banana republic" - SA is a constitutional democracy, has freedom of speech and all its institutions are operating optimally, but why do people make allegations like "Zuma and his buddies will just move overseas and live like kings off riches they STOLE.."if there is evidence of this why not submit this information to COURTS of the land - rather than just smear people in blanket allegation of theft? This is very unfair and flies against what our Constitution confers on citizens, a classical example of abuse of our freedom of speech! For the "Realist" he must just forget if thinks Cosatu will split from the Alliance, its not gonna happen! Again, we must say this to "@Robr" that SA is NOT on "a brink of a Banana republic", regardless of Julius Malema being mentored or hero-worshipping Mugabe!

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:17am on 13 June 2011
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.... RSA is already a Banana Republic, lots of mokeys destroying the banana field to the detriment of future generations.

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Emil, wrote

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09:17am on 13 June 2011
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I think Vavi has demonstrated that he is among the very few leaders who are not corrupt. Zuma is a disgrace, indecisive and has no balls. In spite of all this, I will die voting the ANC

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Marumo, wrote

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09:13am on 13 June 2011
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JUJU needs to be stopped disrespecting the ANC leadership. But some of the ANC leadership are probably gaining from what he is doing. Let me say this to all ANC leadership. No one except Juju is gaining out of this. Don't think that after removing Zuma as a President and you taking over the ANCYL will stop their nonsense. They will support you as long as they pull the strings and if you want to satnd up they will ditch you as well. This is exactly what is happening to poor Zuma. When he was removing the then President Mbeki he thought lemini (this day) will never arrive for him as well. We need ANC of the Sisulu's, Mandela's, Govan Mbeki's etc, and not what we seeing now. I am worried where will this country be in the coming 10 years. I foresee ANCYL rulling this country. Mark my words. We are almost there. At the moment Zuma cannot even say anything to Juju irrespective how wrong he is, why? Because he thinks he was the one who fought for him. For your iformation and the country;s sake Mr Zuma, Juju played a role of course but he was not alone in this.

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Gaffi, wrote

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09:12am on 13 June 2011
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What a coward

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Graham F , wrote

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08:58am on 13 June 2011
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It is about time someone senior spoke out about the ANC and its excesses and inability to provide services, etc. Not a single one of the ANC heirarchy at the Sisulu funeral was fit to follow in the footsteps of Mandela & Sisulu (I am not including Winnie Mandela as a role model) despite all the praise. They are interested only in enrichimg themselves. A report in the Sunday Times yesterday was about a Free State municipality that wasted R 2,000,000,000 of which R 1,600,000,000 was unaccounted for, R 1,500,000 spent on renovations to the mayor's house, etc. Instead of getting South Africa in order we want to spend millions on a 26 nation free trade area to allow stolen goods amd criminals to move around more freely.

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Juan, wrote

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08:42am on 13 June 2011
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Sorry vavi. SA is already becoming a banana republic: ALL the signs are there - In 10years time, zuma and his buddies will just move overseas and live like kings off the riches they stole while the people who were stupid enough to support them continue to suffer in war and poverty. African dictatorship 101.

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Joedog, wrote

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08:35am on 13 June 2011
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well at least one ANC member has the balls to admit that juju is bad news!

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Realist, wrote

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08:34am on 13 June 2011
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I don't always agree with Vavi, but I do andmire him for calling a spade a spade. However it would be politically incorrect or even racist if a white politician said the things he says. The South African political landscape would be a far better place if Cosatu does just split from the ANC but they havent got the balls to do that.

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Robr, wrote

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08:27am on 13 June 2011
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Vavi is wrong, we are already on the brink of becoming a Banana Republic, Juju & his cronies have seen to that. I mean look who his Mentor & hero is..........none other than Mugabe!!!

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tbone, wrote

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07:45am on 13 June 2011
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Dear Mr Nzimande, you (the ANC) and your predator behaviour and self-obsessed political wranglings makes a huge difference in the lives of us people!

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