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Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has denied that he was a hypocrite who criticised President Jacob Zuma while at the same time urging ANC delegates to re-elect him in Mangaung.
He used Twitter on Thursday to defend his public pronouncements and Cosatu’s decision to interfere in ANC succession debates, while also highlighting the ruling party’s failures.
Vavi lambasted ANC leaders and cabinet ministers who failed to intervene when their government colleagues and fellow cadres messed up the country and made empty promises to the voters.
Vavi was publicly criticised and accused of being a hypocrite who spoke with a forked tongue.
Some members of the public this week accused him of criticising Zuma’s leadership and policy decisions, such as e-tolling, but calling for his re-election. Others said his call for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s inclusion in the ANC top six was a subversion of democracy, as it robbed the branches of their right to elect leaders.
In his 14 tweets, Vavi also suggested that he did not necessarily agree with some of the policy positions he announced in public.
“People should understand that you don’t necessarily agree with every and any resolution of Cosatu. You are bound by collective. Well if I am a hypocrite, I am part of the 12 million who voted ANC in last elections despite many mistakes it committed over 18 years. I voted despite knowing that its leader claimed not to have seen any person dying of Aids when govt [government] stats showed almost 1 000 dying daily,” Vavi tweeted.
This could be seen as an tacit admission that he did not necessarily back Zuma’s second-term ambitions, even though Cosatu’s central executive committee took the decision.
Vavi is believed to be leading an anti-Zuma Cosatu faction. The other group is led by Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini, who is close to Zuma.
Vavi said he was not oblivious to some of the ANC’s service delivery failures.
“I voted despite knowing that ANC leader drove low-intensity democracy with effective marginalisation of the very ANC members & Alliance. All of them do nothing when ministers spent Xmas in expensive hotels claiming to be on duty, when they see walls around their private homes.
“Where is the collective when children in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, E Cape, N West & even Gauteng are denied textbooks? I can go on and on on countless wrongs happening. Support for any party does not mean agreement with all these wrongs it’s doing,” he added.
“I voted for the ANC & urged a lot more to do so because the positives & achievements were greater than the disappointments. I voted despite! I could not ignore advances such as provision of water, electricity, access to education & healthcare, social security, etc. Indeed despite!”
The day he had “nothing” to offer and the “negatives overwhelms the positives”, he would change his mind and vote for someone else, Vavi tweeted.
Vavi’s tweets received mixed reactions from Twitter users. Some accused him of campaigning for Zuma, while others agreed with him.
Bafana Duba @Fofo_Duba: “Well, let me be clear, as Vavi is stating, I am deeply disappointed by the current ANC govt. BUT NOT deep enough to vote for other parties.”
Christian Steyl @TRHumanist: “When did the people here elect Vavi as twitter’s shop steward… Then he comes here to lament and not engage… Shem.”
LeratoMolele @leratomolele: “I see Vavi tweets… I feel his pain, but at the end of it all he is saying Vote-for-Zuma.”