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Cosatu on EFF’s plans for own trade union: ’We will wait and see’

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Cosatu president Zingisa Losi had a snarky response to EFF leader Julius Malema’s proposed workers union being ’bigger and better than Cosatu’.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa arriving with Cosatu president Zingisa Losi and SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande at a May Day event. File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Video: Kamogelo Moichela

COSATU president Zingisa Losi had a snarky response to EFF leader Julius Malema’s proposed workers union being “bigger and better than Cosatu” and questioned the independence of the party.

Losi was addressing the media during the trade federation’s post executive committee meeting at Cosatu House in Joburg on Thursday.

Losi was asked about her thoughts on Malema’s Worker’s Day comments that the EFF intended to launch its own trade union.

She questioned the independence of the EFF for wanting to launch a trade union, “when there is too much fragmentation that is taking place”.

Video: Kamogelo Moichela

“Are you a political party that is intending on contesting state power? If your intentions are not to sit on the opposition benches but ultimately to lead South Africa, and you have a trade union that you have established as a political party, how is that going to impact the neutrality and independence of that trade union movement?” Losi asked.

“We will wait and see,” she added.

Malema announced the EFF’s intention to launch its own trade union shortly after chaos reigned down at Cosatu’s May Day rally, where President Cyril Ramaphosa’s security had to rush him out the Rustenburg stadium after angry Sibanye-Stillwater workers disrupted the proceedings and refused to allow him to speak.

Reflecting on the May Day events, Cosatu expressed regret over the incident.

“In its analysis, the federation noted that this regrettable incident reflects the worker’s dissatisfaction with the socio-economic crisis engulfing the working class in general.

“Workers have legitimate anger over their stagnating wages and the reversal of their gains at a workplace level, and deteriorating services in our communities.”

It said it intended to convene urgent meetings with the SACP and the ANC to discuss issues affecting workers in South Africa.

A Cosatu special campaigns and organising committee would also be convened to beef up the analysis and enrich the recommendations towards the coming National Day of Action.

“The disruption exposed the chronic weak state of the ANC, its leagues, and the alliance in general both in terms of organisational cohesion and strategic orientation.

“It is clear that our broad movement is facing immense challenges and has lost touch with its base,” the union stated.

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