Unlike NUMSA, NUM will never sell out the revolution

Benson Ngqentsu replies to Castro Ngobese's attack on Frans Baleni

NUM will never sell out the revolution

NUM will forever defend the alliance against NUMSA posturing as a United Front

NUM is a tried and tested revolutionary UNION which has, over decades, produced leaders such as JB Marks, Elijah Barayi, and Crosby Moni, Cyril Ramaphosa, Gwede Mantashe, Kgalema Motlathe etc. It is one of the founding members of COSATU, and it has maintained its hegemonic status within the gigantic federation of workers and the Congress Alliance, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

NUM has always maintained and respected the founding principles of COSATU, in particular one-union-one-industry.

All leaders of NUM are known for their high level of discipline, which includes taking responsibility for advancing decisions that are taken by its structures. Thus even the current leadership of Comrade Frans Baleni has constantly communicated all decisions taken by structures of NUM.

Therefore I have no illusion of the fact that Cde Frans Baleni who is the sitting GS of NUM has been providing leadership to struggles that are faced by workers, without grandstanding. 

Hence I find the attack by unelected schizophrenic and childish responses with which NUMSA spokesperson Castro Ngobese has been trying so hard to isolate the GS of NUM from NUM.

Thus on 9 July 2014, the same NUMSA spokesperson, Castro Ngobese, posted on his face-book wall a warning that NUMSA is going to respond to the NUM's post-Central Committee statement.

An hour later, instead of NUMSA responding to the NUM's post-Central Committee statement, it chose to target the NUM's General Secretary, Frans Baleni. This did not come as a surprise to some of us because the current NUMSA leadership clique, and in particular its spokesperson Ngobese, has a particular obsession with the NUM's General Secretary. His response is generally full of insults directed to NUM GS. He is unable to engage the essence of NUM Central committee statement hence he opt to hurl insults.

The counter-revolutionary stance adopted by NUMSA clique exposes their bitterness towards NUM and its leadership. Clearly the attack on Cde Frans is directed to NUM and it's an attempt to wither away the revolutionary morality of NUM.

Let me premise my engagement informed by the NUM Central Committee characterisation of the NUMSA 2013 National Special Congress. NUMSA made the following bold pronouncements -

As NUMSA, we must lead in the establishment of a new United Front that will coordinate struggles in the workplaces and in communities... a Movement for Socialism

"If COSATU is incapable... we will begin the process of forming a new federation

"Basic Guiding Principles of the United Front - Ideological orientation, political affiliation, religious, gender, social or any other affiliation or orientation shall not be a condition for denying or preventing participation in the programmes of the United Front"

NUM Central Committee debated and adopted a report extracted in the above points from the NUMSA's report and further made the observations including this one - "if this is unpacked it could mean that NUMSA could have a joint programme with all forces opposing the incumbent status quo and in broadening a united front it may even include the likes of the DA; in essence a united front comprises all angry voices against the ANC."

What is Ngobese's objection to this observation? In my view it is clear that NUMSA's statement that the United Front NUMSA envisages, as per the Basic Guiding Principles, will be a multi-ideological organization. Actually this is a revelation that indeed, NUMSA has been flirting with many detractors and enemies of our revolution, including the DA, Agang and EFF. If the envisaged United Front is to have such a character, then what would stop it from having even Boko Haram elements?

The public anti-ANC posturing that we have witnessed over recent months confirms NUM's observations of the above. The position to abandon the ANC and not vote for it was calculated move by the NUMSA leadership clique which has e sold out the NUMSA of Mbuyiselo Ngwende to the highest bidder. The NUM together with the ANC and the SACP must however not abandon NUMSA. As an organisation NUMSA was built with support from the NUM leadership

Thus the current and momentary leadership must be isolated and exposed for attempting to sell NUMSA to big business.

Benson Ngqentsu is the SACP's District Secretary and NUM organiser based in the Western Cape. He writes in his personal capacity

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