NEHAWU statement on the utterances by Ace Magushule
12 December 2017
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] notes with disgust the utterance made by the Mugabe of the African National Congress [ANC], Ace Magashule, during the delivery of the political report of the ANC Free State 8th Provincial Congress on Sunday.
During the delivery of his report Magashule questioned COSATU’s decision to support Cde Cyril Ramaphosa for the position of President of the ANC at the 54th National Conference scheduled to take place later this week. He further boastfully and arrogantly proclaimed that if he were to support certain leaders to contest and take over the leadership of COSATU’s unions he would have easily done so. He declared that he would with minimal effort instil his own people to lead COSATU affiliates including NEHAWU.
As NEHAWU, we view this as nothing but an insult to us as a union and COSATU as our federation. We vehemently reject his absurd thinking that he can dictate to workers as to who to elect. This pipe dream of his is more ridiculous considering that the very same workers he speaks of have always been at the receiving end of his wrath as an employer. As the premier of the provinces he has presided over measures that have impeded workers from enjoying better salaries and better working conditions.
What makes this more revolting is that the current Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, Jessie Duarte, after being booed at a COSATU May Day rally in Polokwane also proclaimed that she would also influence NEHAWU elections outcomes at our 11th National Congress which was convened in June 2017.
Workers’ are well aware of his well-documented shenanigans which includes the buying of votes in congresses. COSATU members are principled and obsessed with advancing towards a socialist dispensation. In our congresses the tendency of votes buying does not have a space to flourish. So we are perplexed as to how he can instil his own people to run COSATU affiliates without dispensing resources and patronage.
We want to dispel the narrative that as workers we are prohibited from discussing the succession debate of the ANC. The ANC is the leader of the alliance and as workers affiliated to COSATU we have a direct interest on who emerges as a leader of the ANC. We are more interested because of the current rot and degeneration of the ANC at the hands of Jacob Zuma and his Gupta Dynasty. The severity of the rot in both the ANC and government is a cause for concern hence the need to support a candidate who will rebuild, unite and prioritise an urgent renewal process of the ANC.
As NEHAWU, we are proud to have been the first organisation to call for the President to resign and Cde Ramaphosa to take over. This is a position of our October 2016 National Executive Committee and COSATU’s Central Executive Committee position. A year later more and more people look forward to a Cyril Ramaphosa presidency and are excited about the possibility of returning the ANC to its former glory. The succession debate is not only reserved for a certain few individuals or groupings and we condemn those who seek to privatise the debate.
Magashule is most probably panicking after the overwhelming nomination of Cde Cyril by five provinces of the ANC. At this point we refuse to cower just because some playground bullies are threatening to take over the leadership of our members. Workers have time and again chosen COSATU as a home of workers and an instrument to fight exploitation, slave wages, labour brokering and unfavourable working conditions. As NEHAWU, we will at all material times come to the defense of both COSATU and workers more especially against those who want to use the name of COSATU to boost their chances of emerging as Secretary General of the ANC come the 54th National Conference.
As NEHAWU, we want to warn Magashule to desist from silly remarks like this in the future as such utterances have contributed to the decline of relations in the alliance. NEHAWU will at all times be on the side of those who jealously defend the unity of the alliance.
Issued by Khaya Xaba, NEHAWU Secretariat, 13 December 2017