Dastard attacks aimed at COSATU president condemned – NEHAWU

Union refutes unfounded claims that the federation’s president was elected because she is a woman

NEHAWU condemns the dastard attacks aimed at the COSATU president

21 February 2021

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) condemns the dastard attacks aimed at the President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Comrade ZingiswaLosi.

The President of COSATU has been under constant attack on social media in the past few days. The source of these attacks is a video of the President addressing a post Central Executive Committee (CEC) of COSATU which took place on the 28th November 2020. In the press conference which was addressed by the National Office Bearers (NOBs) of COSATU a question was asked by a journalist on the criminal case of the Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC). The issue of the SG was not part of the statement presented by the NOBs to the press conference. The President answered the question and clarified that no one is above the law and that anyone found to have transgressed laws of this country must be held accountable regardless of the positions they occupy both in government and in the movement.

Those who are spearheading these attacks are using the old video as if it is a recent video that took place last week when in actual fact it is from three months ago. In this regard, we condemn the isolation of the President from the rest of her collective and also condemn the using of an old video to launch unwarranted and dastard attacks on the President. We refute the unfounded claims that the President was elected because she is a woman. Comrade Losi has been championing workers struggles for years and has dedicated her entire life to end all forms of exploitation and unsafe working conditions. Her leadership qualities and selflessness is what catapulted her into the position of leading the federation. She was elected with an overwhelming majority because of the trust COSATU affiliates have on her as a leader.

The statement that was presented at the press conference focused mainly on the current attack on collective bargaining led by our government. The NOBs condemned the reneging by government on the full implementation of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018 especially clause 3.3 which speaks to the salary increases of public servants. It is for these reason that we find it unacceptable that those attacking the President would accuse her of allowing government not to pay the increases which were due on the 1st April 2020. Furthermore, COSATU does not negotiate at the PSCBC, it is the public sector unions that does the negotiations. Comrade Losi addressed workers at our National Day of Action at the Union Buildings on the 3rd September 2020 and her message was very clear that government must stop punishing workers for problems in the fiscus and that the increases must be paid with immediate effect.

We find it abhorrent that those leading these attacks on the President would also stoop so low and attack her for being a traditional healer. This is a personal attack that has nothing to do with the current struggles currently faced by workers. Currently, workers are under sieges as our government seeks to reserve their hard won gains, this is not a time to be side tracked by petty issues. The unity of workers is sacrosanct more than ever and it must be defended at all costs especially against those who want to distract us from leading a frontal attack on our number one enemy which is our government and especially National Treasury.

NEHAWU will continue to wage a relentless war against government including defending collective bargaining which did not come on a silver platter. The national union will not tire until the last leg of the 2018 agreement is fully implemented.

Issued by Khaya Xaba, National Spokesperson, NEHAWU, 21 February 2021