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Cosatu: Statement by Patrick Craven, Congress of South African Trade Unions spokesperson, responding to the Sunday Times (29/11/2010)

29th November 2010


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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is angry at an article which appeared in the Sunday Times on 28 November 2010 – “We’ll back Blade to come back, cries Vavi” - which seriously distorts and misrepresents the views of the federation and its General Secretary.

The article has personalised what was raised by the COSATU Central Executive Committee (CEC) as an issue of political principle. It makes it appear that there is a battle between two individuals, which is totally untrue.

The discussion at the CEC arose from genuine concerns that COSATU’s ally, the SACP, must be strengthened so that it can continue and intensify its struggle for working class liberation and socialism
In line with this principle the CEC said, “In the past the CEC has expressed the CEC view is that the SACP General Secretary must return to SACP Head Quarters and lead the party on the full time basis so that it can confront the challenges facing the working class. The CEC reiterated that view. This is a plea not a command!

“COSATU will be discussing a formula that can ensure that the SACP develops resources that can help it develop human resource capacity and is help to run campaigns effectively.”

The statement contained no reference to Blade Nzimande personally and certainly not to his salary or perks, as the article implies. The question of the party’s financial situation is entirely separate from the deployment of its national office bearers to government.

Yet the Sunday Times makes the unsubstantiated claim that “Some Cosatu leaders believe that it is this financial situation that forced Nzimande and other senior SACP leaders to take up employment in government and various legislatures.” Once again, anonymous sources - “some Cosatu leaders” - are used to present a distorted view of the issue under discussion.

COSATU will continue to engage with our alliance partner and are confident that this unfortunate and unnecessary dispute can be resolved and that we will continue to work together to advance the national democratic revolution. We are also insisting that the Sunday Times must publish a retraction and apology for the errors in the article.



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