Ndihambe nawe Cosatu!2003 is congress year and different affiliates are busy finding what "smash songs" to hit the rest of the delegates with at Cosatu's national congress in September. But it looks as if creative juices are not flowing. Many comrades are working on various renditions of Mafikizolo's hit and have promised that royalties will definitely go to Sophie Mgcina. So don't be surprised to hear "Ndihambe nawe Cosatu! Ndihambe nawe Madisha! Ndihambe nawe Vavi!"
Weapons of mass distractionWith some of our comrades doing everything to shy away from Marxist jargon, a lot of innovation has been taking place. Instead of calling the CNN and BBC "ideological apparatuses aimed at fostering false consciousness", one ex-comrade was heard referring to the two media conglomerates as "weapons of mass distraction".
The serial husband's kingdomNumsa's international officer has been working in Swaziland for the last four months so we had to find a coded language when speaking to him. We didn't want our beloved Hloks to land in trouble as we were convinced that his phone was tapped.As an innovative union we were able to talk about the "serial husband's kingdom" and the "jackroller's palace" without putting our dear comrade in danger.
NDR becomes permanentBirthday messages have something about them. Those giving them tend to get carried away. What do you make of Cosatu's message on the ANC's 91st birthday? "We wish the ANC at least a further 91 years of dedicated leadership of our national democratic revolution (NDR)".One was made to believe that the NDR was a stage, later a phase to be "deepened into something qualitatively and dialectically different". Maybe it has ironically become a permanent revolution!
Come out of the closet, Mkitiki!To have to sleep at Lagos International Airport because of refusing to use your indigenous name is really tragic. IMF's Stephen Nhlapo had to sleep at Nigeria's airport when travelling with someone from Ditsela to that country. Walking in front, the Ditsela comrade had no doubt that Steve was not travelling with her when asked by the person who came to fetch them at the airport. "At the last moment, Steve (referring to Ditsela's Stephen Faulkner) decided not to come". That night our Steve was left at the airport and was only able to phone the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) offices the next day. So don't be surprised if IMF letters are signed: Mkitiki Nhlapo. Anyway, this is the dawn of the African century and birth comes with pain.
No to R800 for each Eskom worker! Yes to R6, 5 million bonuses for directors! Remember the case that we won against Eskom where CCMA ordered the company to pay out R26,5m to more than 29 000 workers (or just more than R800 each) in terms of a gainsharing agreement? Management took the decision to the Labour Court for review and our members are still waiting for the outcome.While Eskom refuses to grant our members R800 each, the parastatal has instead paid out bonuses of R6,5m to its executive directors. Perhaps all the workers should resign and leave Eskom in the capable hands of the executive directors who seem to do all the work in the company!
View from inside the ANC ConferenceAn elderly delegate from Premier Mtshali's province (until further notice) approaches the microphone after consultation with one senior leader of the ANC. Cde Terror Lekota is in the chair and conference delegates are attentive. The delegate confidently puts forward KZN's position "as KZN, we want to know when was the meeting that took a decision that the ANC is the leader of the alliance?" He stresses the point that 'this is KZN's position'. KZN delegates are taken by surprise. The chair of the session tries to address the 'position of KZN' and the whole conference is taken aback.
When is Cosatu talking about core demands?It's Numsa regional congress in KwaZulu-Natal. The main issue is this year's wage negotiations. The keynote speaker is Zeth Luzipho (acting regional secretary of Cosatu). Come question time, a delegate from Pinetown is the last delegate given a chance to ask a question."You keep on reporting to us about Cosatu….Cosatu…… When are we going to talk about the core demands that we have come here to discuss. Why Cosatu, Cosatu….?"
Mandela is a world leader!The time is 7.30am and I'm sitting with my family watching the news when suddenly the old man appears on the screen. My concentration is aroused. WOW, he is talking about the President who has no foresight! Guess who! The big George Bush and my day is made, until I hear that Tony Blair is not actually the prime minister of Britain but that he is on the payroll of the CIA. What a shame for those British voters who thought they had a prime minister.I HAD A VERY NICE SLEEP ON THAT DAY. Mandela made my day. Thank you Madiba for telling Bush and Blair (BBs) what they desperately wanted to hear for a long time since they started this madness of theirs.Long live Madiba long live!- Cedric Gina.