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Posts Tagged ‘COSATU’

Blade Is Sorry!

September 10, 2009 1 comment
Zapiro on the bourgeoisification of Comrade Blade

Zapiro on the bourgeoisification of Comrade Blade

The South African Communist Party chief, Dr Blade Nzimande, has at last bowed to popular outrage at his purchase of a R1,1 million car for use in his capacity as Minister of Higher Education.

Comrade Blade has however not gone the whole way by surrendering the vulgar pair of wheels for something more working class as would be dictated by his sense of communist morality. Afterall his allies, Congress of South African Trade Unions had issued a plea to all ministers of bling to surrender their expensive toys.

Nzimande`s half-apology flies in the face of earlier statements by the SACP and the Ministry of  Higher Education which had found no moral fault with the comrade`s purchase of luxury wheels. Ironically this purchase was brought to the public domain by the party of monopoly capital, the Democratic Alliance.

The expose` by the DA raised serious moral questions on those who puport to be custodians of the interests and aspirations of the working class.   No wonder the media and other public commentators have come to correctly charecterised these opportunists who dupe the poor as gucci socialists whose true colours continue to be exposed on a daily basis.

Another take on Cde Blade

Another take on Cde Blade

As for COSATU, the trade union federation got stuck on the starting-block in speaking out against Nzimande`s un-communist pair of wheels. It instead sneaked its condemnation through the back door of public outrage of such a vulgarity.

The jury is still out on the Cabinet decision to review the tendency by its members to go overboard in spending public monies.

What is tragic about the excesses of the likes of Comrade Blade is that it occurs under the shadow of a global economic crisis which has badly affected the poor who constitute his core constituency. It was therefore expected that these leaders of the working class will manifest a concience in how they spend public funds for their personal comforts.

It now remains to be seen whether Cabinet will put a lead on this wholesale looting of the public purse.

Opposition Chart Wayfoward

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

The leadership of three of South Africa`s opposition parties is due to meet today in a further endevour to consolidate unity efforts ahead of  elections in 2011 (municipal) and 2014 (national and provincial).

Today`s meeting of the leadership of COPE, ID and UDM is a sequel to previous unity efforts by the opposition. Neither will this meeting be the last until unity is attained.

The clamour for unity among opposition parties comes after COPE`s entry into the political lanscape had shaken both the ANC and other opposition parties out of their comfort zones. As the result of the founding of COPE the ANC shed support in all but one province during the recent general elections. Opposition parties other than the DA were also not spared loss of support as they were reduced to the pale shadows of their former selves.

With no immediate prospects of an end to ANC political hegemony and arrogance, sobriety dawned on the opposition to make them realised that they had more in common than to can explore a common electoral platform.

As would have been expected ANC apologists and rented commentators heaped scorn on this untiy initiatives with some dismissing it as a constelation of lightweights which will never amount to a heavyweight in the mould of their ANC.

In a belaboured statement COSATU accused those who are for the unity of opposition parties as people who want:

” …to deregulate the labour market, repeal laws that workers from abuse by employers, and limit workers` rights. They want to make it easier to fire workers and do away with centralised bargaining, and push us  back  to the apartheid days when employers could do whatever  they wanted with their workers.”

This and other malicious distortions have been the stock responses to the challenge COPE offered to the ANC arrogance and intolerance. In the build up to the April 22 general elections thousands of rands were laid to waste by COSATU in the production and distribution of an anti-COPE propaganda booklet : Defend our Movement! Adavance the gains of Limpopo! Expose and Isolate the Black DA!

Such is the desperation of the DA and its fellow-travellers.

It is now up to the combined opposition to rise to the challenge of defending South Africa`s fledgeling democracy.

Categories: COPE, OPPOSITION Tags: , , , , , ,

Architects of Poverty : Book Review

August 3, 2009 Leave a comment

architects-of-povertyMoeletsi Mbeki`s book, Architects of Poverty : WHY AFRICAN CAPITALISM NEEDS CHANGING, provides a clinical analysis of the plight of Africa and concludes that the fault rightly lies not with the people but with its rulers – the political elites who contrive to keep their fellow citizens poor while enriching themselves.

The book tells a tale of lost opportuniries and extinguished hopes in Africa.

It also offers some suggestions about what needs to be done to break the stranglehold of the African elites on political power, and set sub-Saharan Africa once more on the road to development.

Moeletsi also expresses reservations about the African National Congress` Black Economic Empowerment which he says, “strikes a fatal blow against the emergence of black entrepreneurship by creating a small class of unproductive but wealthy black crony capitalists made up of  ANC politicians.”

What Moeletsi Mbeki has done is what many black South Africans have failed to do – become active and highly productive participants in the battle of ideas ragings across the length and breadth of the republic. The best black people have done in this raging battle has been, like COSATU,  try and silence the messenger.

The book is very simple, straight forward and makes for easy reading.

Architects of Poverty

July 22, 2009 9 comments

Moeletsi Mbeki has just released a book : Architects of Poverty – Why African Capitalism Needs Changing. The book has been widely well received by those genuinely concerned with the future welfare of the continent.

However, as would be expected, the South African trade union federation COSATU hasn`t been mightily impressed by Moeletsi`s offerings in the book.

Responding to the book COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi had the following piece of  wisdom to offer, ” To comrade Moeletsi, the leadership of the liberation movement ended in September 2008 after his brother was recalled.”

Vavi`s comment followed the COSATU statement issued by spokesperson Patrick Craven in which the latter accuses Moeletsi of a personal dislike of Zuma and his allies, including COSATU. According to Craven this personal dislike has warped Moeletsi`s vision.

Mbeki`s crime lies in the following extracts from the book…they have no leadership. COSATU lost their leadership in 1994. The unions are left with leaders who have no education, no knowledge, no expertise. That`s why the poor are being ripped off…they don`t know the political economy of South Africa.

He goes on to write…they think they can ingratiate themselves with politicians of the ANC, so in the past four years they have been crawling to Jacob Zuma, thinking that they will use him. But Zuma ignored them once he got into power. He ignored them and privatised Vodacom.

In COSATU`s wisdom Moeletsi can no longer be treated as an independent commentator but someone with a personal grudge.

If COSATU has to be believed the book has nothing to offer but sour grapes by one of the Mbeki family who mourn the recall of Thabo Mbeki as presidency of South Africa and his defeat at the ANC conference in 2007 by Jacob Zuma.

COSATU`s response to the book is to say the least, tragic as it resorts to playing the man instead of playing the ball. In my future posts I will engage with the contents of the book and leave the fact that Moeletsi is former president Thabo Mbeki`s brother to COSATU.