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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Limpopo welcomes the apology from SAMWU

11 October 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Limpopo welcomes the formal apology from its affiliate, the South African Municipal Workers Union, with regard to the unfortunate and regrettable utterance made by its General Secretary, comrade Simon Matsobane Mathe, at an ANC OR Tambo Memorial Lecture event on the 08th October 2017 at Rampuru Primary School in Aganang.

The federation was made aware of a video clip circulating in the social media in which cde Simon Mathe spoke in a manner that is tantamount to promoting sexism, tribalism, ethnicity, regionalism and a conduct not befitting a person of his sta-ture as a leader of the workers and a member of the Central Executive Committee of COSATU. We have be in constant contact with the provincial leadership of SAMWU as part of our efforts to clarify the public on our stance with regard to the utterances.

Leaders of workers are always expected to act and behave in a manner that contributes towards propelling our revolutionary ideas forwards and not derail it. Marxist literature has this to say about the conduct of leaders of the working class: “If leaders and cadres fall victim to populist bourgeois gestures and conduct in their bid to become popular and go on compromising with the culture and taste prevalent among people which has naturally arisen from the existing social system, then their own standard of culture steadily goes down.

“Moreover, it should also be borne in mind always that the culture and ethical conduct of the leaders and workers, in tune with their revolutionary ideology and principle, act as the most powerful vehicle -- besides propaganda campaign -- to carry the proletarian politics, revolutionary ideology and culture to the masses”.

The current polluted political environment demands upon all leaders of the federation to act in a manner that contributes to the unity of our movement in pursuit of our revolutionary objectives and ideas. We hope the apology will help assure all those who felt pain from the utterance that the federation and its affiliates abhors any kind of discrimination. We are happy that the General Secretary of SAMWU, comrade Simon Mathe has also taken personal responsibility with regard to the incident.
The federation in the province will continue working together with all its alliance partners to deal with the demons of sexism, tribalism, ethnicity and regionalism wherever they manifest themselves.

Issued by COSATU Limpopo

Gerald Mkhomazi Twala (Provincial Secretary)
79A Biccard Street
Mobile: 071 587 2872/076 522 8864
E-Mail: gerald@cosatu.org.za