Jim and Vavi’s dangerous obsession with Frans Baleni

Benson Ngqentsu says NUM's new GS David Sipunzi will provide principled leadership to the union

Jim and Vavi’s obsession with Frans Baleni dangerous

The jubilations by the new agents of imperialism and twitter revolutionaries Zwelinzima Vavi and NUMSA over the change of leadership in the NUM is nothing but a confirmation of the extent of personalization of the revolution. These jubilations are actually more about the removal of Frans Baleni than about the broader change of leadership, or about the policies and programmes adopted at the NUM 15th National Congress. In the first instance, the NUM was never about Frans Baleni and he was never above the NUM, just as nobody will ever be above the NUM.

The reason why Frans Baleni was so hated by these elements is that he was tasked with the revolutionary duty to lead and communicate the decisions of the NUM. Much of this was of course not popular with Vavi and his clique.

It is opportunism of the worst order from both the Vavi clique and liberal media to divorce leadership from the main content and the outcomes of the NUM 15th National Congress. As a new leader of the NUM, the General Secretary David Sipunzi is going to face the same challenges as the NUM has and will.

In the first instance, the NUM’s 15th National Congress re-affirmed the correctness of COSATU’s decision to accept LIMUSA into the fold of COSATU as a new home for metal workers, and also that of the expulsion of Zwelinzima Vavi and NUMSA. I have no doubt that the disciplined and visionary David Sipunzi will be in the forefront of seeing to it that these decisions are not diluted but rather are carried out by the structures and broader membership of the NUM.

The 15th National Congress of the NUM also re-affirmed its commitment to the national democratic revolution under the leadership of the ANC and the vanguard role of the SACP in this. Against this background, the 15th National Congress committed to deploy its resources to the elections campaign for the ANC’s landslide victory in the forthcoming local government elections in 2016, with a focus on the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng Province.

It must be tough for Vavi and his clique to have to accept that comrade David Sipunzi is not going to lead a particular faction aligned to him and NUMSA, as the liberal media suggests, but will provide principled leadership to the NUM as an organization.

NUM members must therefore close ranks, unite the people’s camp, neutralize its detractors and expose the agents of imperialism even as they sing our songs and carry our flags.

Benson Ngqentsu is the NUM Regional Organizer and SACP Brian Bunting District Secretary and writes on his personal capacity