New Age article misleading - FAWU

Katishi Masemola says NUMSA's R1m pledge has nothing to do with his union's support for its re-admission to COSATU

Press Statement by FAWU in Correcting Misleading Article captured by the New Age Newspaper of the 29th July 2015 Edition on Page One.

29 July 2015

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) is disgusted by the article that appeared in the New Age edition of 29th August 2015 on their Page 1 which is misleading with selective, incomplete and twisted quotes attributed to its General Secretary.

To put the record straight we wish to make the following corrections to this misleading article, that is full of insinuations and innuendos that are meant to claim FAWU has made unqualified assertions or made assertions without contextualisation and background.

- After being asked by Itumeleng of the New Age that there was an email from an unnamed FAWU member that we, as FAWU, owes NUMSA some R2m the FAWU General Secretary, Katishi Masemola, said we do not owe NUMSA but yes we had received a pledge from NUMSA of R1m in the same way we recived contribution of R1m from Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU).

- I went on to explain that the pledged contribution by NUMSA has nothing to do with our position on FAWU’ support for their re-admission in the same way that the actual contribution by SACTWU has nothing to do with how we differ or agree on issues because such contribution was voluntary on their part as the pledge, not yet contributed, is equally voluntary on their part and was not requested by FAWU.

- I went on to explain that we do not have loyalty to NUMSA but insist that NUMSA’s readmission, despite their NEC pronouncement on a new federation, which position we disagree with, remains our position and a position we will insist on come the COSATU November ordinary congress in November.

- I went on to explain that we do not have loyalty to Vavi as an individual, as part of rubbishing this irritating empty accusation of pursuing a personality cult by some opportunists, but unwaveringly insist on his reinstatement as an elected General Secretary of COSATU.

Having said the above, we remain part of those unions who believe in a militant and campaigning COSATU and we will ensure that this is achieved, even if it means continuing to work with all unions, as we have been doing, that share this sentiment and belief of a fighting federation.

We therefore reject with contempt any attempt to discredit FAWU or its leaders through articles of this nature and the misquotations and twisted quotes that are meant to portray us a spineless and wavering organization on matters of principles.

We reiterate that resources, be it this hallucinated R2m owed to NUMSA or any other alleged or pledged funding, whether from local sources or overseas-based donors, will not shape our posture, gestures, thoughts and thinking as well as our principles.

That we were once in arrears with COSATU affiliation fees and that are now back to good standing does not say anything except the New Age using this to throw some innuendos in an alarmist way to try create a perception that we are captured by NUMSA’s resources, something our opponents hope will resonate with the wild-cat call of FAWU and others having to free themselves from NUMSA. This amateurish attempt will not succeeds in tarnishing FAWU’s leadership or the union’s resolve on NUMSA and Vavi remain intact and will not shake.

Just to repeat our positions, which have not changed and will never change until done through our structures and based on prevailing circumstances then.

- We call on the immediate return of NUMSA into COSATU

- We call on the unconditional reinstatement of Z Vavi

Statement issued by FAWU General Secretary, Katishi Masemola, July 29 2015