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Cosatu is eating away

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Shopprice South Africa

Cosatu must rise, President Jacob Zuma told assigns to the union federation’s 12th national congress at Gallagher Estate in Midrand last night amid divisions over the direction it should take.

Zuma, whose address was postponed by several hours, told delegates they should forge ahead and unite the working class.

“Cosatu must emerge stronger, given the challenges that you face today,” he said.

He said the federation was, like the ANC, operating in harsh conditions under capitalism.

“We need to continuously reflect on material conditions that necessitated the alliance [with the ANC].

“We must always remember that the ANC is a multiclass movement, but biased in favour of workers and the poor.”

Zuma said it was the duty of the SA Communist Party to fight for a socialist society.

“If you know the enemy you cannot have the luxury of disunity among yourselves.”

Zuma urged “workers who are employed to always think about workers who are unemployed”.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini was nominated uncontested to his position.

Earlier yesterday, Dlamini said agents provocateurs from abroad working with individuals within Cosatu are campaigning to destabilise the federation and divide the ruling alliance .

Dlamini said money was destroying the federation and it was “eating itself”.

The Cosatu congress comes after months of infighting that saw thousands of union members from Numsa and other unions expelled and the federation’s general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, shown the door.

Earlier there was chaos as affiliates spent the entire morning fighting over the credentials of leaders at the congress.

The Food and Allied Workers’ Union was eventually defeated in its bid to have Cosatu’s second deputy president, Zingiswa Losi, and the newly formed Liberated Metalworkers Union of SA, excluded from the congress, questioning their credentials.

Dlamini accused foreign countries, particularly the US, of paying some unions and leaders to destroy Cosatu.

“People are pumping money to destroy Cosatu. After showing America proof they were funding … they admitted it,” he said.

The congress continues today.

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