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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

The tripartite alliance is not perfect but itís very much alive

2 November 2015

We respect Cde Motlanthe and value his views and opinions, but we find it regrettable that, he has ignored all the facts and opted for an easy option, by sounding the death knell for the alliance. Cde Mothlante is one of the longest serving former leaders of the alliance. We expect him to know that the tripartite alliance was never perfect and no one ever claimed it was. It was not perfect when he was leading the NUM, and the ANC and it is still not perfect now.

It is disquieting therefore that he has experienced this Damascus moment after vacating his leadership position in the ANC. He was the Secretary General of the ANC, when the alliance experienced its most difficult period. At that time there were ANC leaders like the late, Cde Dumisani Makhaye and former president Thabo Mbeki, who were openly telling both COSATU and the SACP to leave the alliance if they were unhappy with the actions of the ANC. He never saw that difficult moment as a signal that the alliance was dead.

Cde Kgalema was part of the leadership collective in government and in the ANC that defended labour brokers and e-tolls. This was a decision that went against the COSATU demands for the scrapping of e-tolls and a total ban of the labour brokers. He was the one, who actually presided over the discussions that led to those decisions. We never lamented about the death of the alliance because of those decisions.
The federation still hold the former ANC Deputy President in high regard and we always appreciate his views and opinions He is one of the sharpest minds and principled leaders to be produced by our revolutionary alliance. But we strongly disagree with his critique and analysis of both the alliance and COSATU.
The internal challenges of the federation took four long years and the decision to expel Numsa was one of the most difficult episodes for the federation. Unfortunately, the principles of democracy dictate that the minority cannot impose their will on the majority. Former COSATU leaders and those of the alliance partners were afforded an opportunity to reconcile and unite the federation to no avail. As a former COSATU leader, Cde Motlanthe is welcome to engage with the federation and raise his issues in proper platforms.
The ideological and political rupture that existed at the time, made the decision to expel Numsa unavoidable. We appeal to the fair-mindedness and fairness of Cde Motlanthe to contextualise the decision to expel Numsa and also offer solid qualifications for his valued opinions going forward.

Ours is a strategic alliance, not an artificial alliance. We have our fair share of difficulties and we will always have those healthy tensions because that is the nature of inter-class alliances. We had them when Cde Kgalema was in charge as the Secretary General of the ANC and we did not magnify them then and we refuse to have them magnified now.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Mobile (060) 975 6794
E-Mail: sizwe@cosatu.org.za