Zwelinzima Vavi, the expelled Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary, said South Africa had not implemented the freedom charter goals and was the most unequal place on earth, fast becoming a failed state. Vavi while addressing a meeting ahead of the public holiday on May 1 said issued of corruption and accountability need to be addressed.
In the 21 years of democracy, South Africa was fast becoming a failed state and Vavi said its citizens would head off to other countries in search of a better life. The public holiday on May 1 is a celebration of workers day and Vavi said the workers have little to celebrate under the difficult and strenuous conditions.
The ousted leader referred to Cosatu as a “sweetheart federation.” Cosatu has no independence and remains in constant turmoil. Vavi indicated that a real threat existed from intimidation, dirty money and smear campaigns by people in power if threatened. When questions were raised about the President of South Africa, Vavi declined to comment.
Workers According to Vavi remained divided and would hold separate May day rallies. The African National Congress (ANC) are directly to blame for the splintering between workers and youth. The youth movement of South Africa is fractured. Today South Africa has no accountability and moving toward a kleptocratic movement. Despite attempts to block the action from marching, the planned march in Durban, KwaZulu Natal would go ahead and nine unions were participating. Vavi urged other unions to join the march and said workers had the right to freedom.
Cosatu, the ANC youth league and the South African Communist Party (SACP) had a pact with President Zuma. Together the multilateral Alliance undertook to support the ANC party to gain votes to keep the deeply flawed Zuma in the highest position of South Africa, all in exchange seats in government. The plotters relationship soured and a fall-out followed that can be traced back to the ousted President Thabo Mbeki.
The government of South Africa and the unions have a distinct conflict of interest and should operate as separate organizations. Cosatu is nothing more than a convenient electoral cannon for the ANC. The growing social crisis coupled with the political insight of Cosatu, linked to government policies is undemocratic. The ANC are not the strong and might political party of the past, and cloaked with weakness, following the expulsions of Julius Malema, Numsa and Vavi indicate a possible realignment of leftist forces against the party.
The Freedom Charter has not been implemented by either the ANC or Cosatu and with over 20 million people under the local chiefs who control the land, culture, economy and politics, there will not be a shift in the inequality. Until the government and Cosatu distance the politics from the expensive mess of the traditional House of Leaders, no freedom charter progression will happen. The current state of affairs can be attributed to both the activities of Cosatu and the ANC government.
Vavi flippantly confirms the lack of accountability and corruption by the ANC government of South Africa. The failings to provide fundamental human rights stack up against the culprits, the ANC government and tripartite alliance. The plundering continues and the irrational, foolish actions over the past 21 years force South Africa into a dark and destructive country.
By Laura Oneale
Photo by Oxfam International – Creativecommons Flickr License