“My hope is that what must be our driving force as we come to Qunu is not to bury the ANC with Nelson Mandela,” he said outside Mthatha airport on Saturday.
“We must come here and say this is the moment for South Africa to reflect on the problems facing it.”
Vavi said the African National Congress and its partners were in trouble. The trouble was evident in the absence of the ANC Youth League, an organisation Mandela started.
There was a need for a strong, independent militant youth organisation and a workers’ organisation capable of holding leadership to account on all the issues affecting society, he said.
“If that was to be the spirit, then we will not bury our movement with Nelson Mandela. We will see this as a point of revival, of reflection, also establishing what we all know is good in every human being and that will reflect the best of Nelson Mandela moving forward.”
He called for unity within the tripartite alliance. Unity should be based around the ideals Madiba dedicated his life to and said he was prepared to die for.
“Unity is very important in any organisation, but it can’t be unity around dirt or rot. It can’t be unity to just bureaucratically close the ranks of something else. It must be unity for a better life for all. That is the unity comrade Nelson Mandela will be calling for,” said Vavi.
He called on the ANC to find the Mandela that existed within their hearts to go beyond the funeral.
“Find that what makes all of us good citizens of South Africa, not tolerant of unemployment, poverty, corruption, or mediocrity. A unity based on purpose of achieving all the goals our revolution has set out for us,” he said.
Vavi voiced anger over the failure to fill the FNB Stadium in Soweto during the memorial service for Mandela on Tuesday.
A united youth league and a united Congress of SA Trade Unions would have played a role in getting the numbers to the venue despite the rain.
“I was one of those who expressed disappointment that we couldn’t fill the stadium notwithstanding the rain that was just pouring, but a workers’ movement united, a youth league movement united, would have filled that stadium,” he said.