Sne Masuku
2 minute read
2 May 2015
10:30 am

Nzimande is a sellout – workers

Sne Masuku

Durban – Workers under the banner of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and other unions within trade union federation Cosatu who support sacked general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi had a Workers' Day rally in Durban yesterday despite fears of clashes between the two factions.

STILL ACTIVE. Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi speaks at the Durban city hall where the May Day march ended. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

The workers sang songs calling Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini and SA Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande traitors and sellouts.

A march was led by Vavi and Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim down West Street about one hour after the Cosatu march left the Gugu Dlamini Park to go to Curries Fountain Stadium.

Jim and Vavi looked happy and relaxed. Both entertained the workers by dancing together and singing. They called for workers to use their exclusion from the Cosatu alliance to build unity. They shouted a slogan: “Don’t mourn, mobilise.”

“Not S’dumo nor Blade can divide us,” said Jim. “Even when Vavi was fired from Cosatu he still showed good leadership qualities – that he had the interest of the workers at heart. He said even when they faced difficulties in organising the march in Durban, they still insisted they would have a rally in Durban, no matter what.”

Jim told workers the enemy was not the workers who were holding a separate march on the other side of town, but leaders like Dlamini and Nzimande, who “stand in the way of the unity of the workers”.

Vavi reminded workers of the potential to bring about change through collective action. “We need this reminder right now, at the point when we tragically see the workers’ movement in our country is far from united.

“For proof of this, look no further than the parallel marches and rallies taking place across the country – this is not something we can smile about,” he said.

Vavi described the movement as being at the crossroads, but said there were powerful forces at work which were determined to see to the conclusion of the transformation of Cosatu from a powerful and critical giant into a domesticated mouse.

He said the country still faced poor wages and a lack of job opportunities.