The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) in Limpopo province notes the venomous and malicious personal attacks directed towards the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), particularly its General Secretary comrade Zwelinzima Vavi by the provincial structure of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) in Limpopo.
It was never our intention to respond to these demagogic attacks by an ally and a formation that is strategically located in knowledge production and ideological re-engineering of society’s young and future generations.
The SADTU Limpopo leadership wants to create a rift between COSATU and SADTU, by abusing organisational machinery to destroy the political standing and personal integrity of the COSATU General Secretary.
The public utterances of COSATU General Secretary on the textbook crisis in Limpopo are shared by all affiliates, particularly NUMSA, and this does not give SADTU an exclusive right or monopoly to speak on educational issues.
The textbook crisis in Limpopo is a class issue and a solid and critical voice of the organised section of the working class was needed to provide leadership in the interest of the affected children of workers, as articulated by COSATU General Secretary.
If truth be told, we are not surprised by these amateurish attacks by SADTU Limpopo leadership.
We are clear that these attacks are not political or class neutral, but intended to weaken and defocus COSATU as it prepares for its 11th National Congress planned for September 2012.
The accusation by SADTU Limpopo that COSATU General Secretary Vavi’s ‘utterances are a clear own goal which demonstrates his arrogance’ and ‘he has grown bigger than his boots and developed a dangerous personality-cult’ is a re-invention of poisonous Thabo Mbeki’s traits of dealing with his political or class opponents.
This seeks to project SADTU Limpopo as paragons of virtue on the ongoing textbook crisis as faced by poor and working class learners in Limpopo.
We call on SADTU Limpopo to publicly apologise to COSATU and its General Secretary Vavi on their unwarranted and ill-conceived attacks.
This will go a long way in forging unity and ideological coherence within COSATU and amongst all its affiliates.
We appeal to SADTU Limpopo to make a thorough introspection on its failures to play a lead and visible role on the textbook crisis.
This will assist SADTU Limpopo to be a relevant formation on the many challenges enraging the Limpopo education system as a whole.
SADTU Limpopo should be reminded that SECTION 27 overtook the progressive and working class forces in Limpopo by championing this working class struggle to the point of calling for the heads of those responsible for thr crisis to roll.
SADTU Limpopo cannot wear red colours and proudly shout revolutionary slogans of building people’s education for people’s power, whilst at the same time it spits on the face of a leader of the working class.
This SADTU Limpopo statement will be recorded in the annals of history as an unfortunate act aimed at destroying COSATU.
Jerry Morulane, Regional Secretary – 083 253 5216
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