Alliance is dead, says Motlanthe

THE tripartite alliance is dead and whoever believes otherwise is delusional‚ former president Kgalema Motlanthe said this weekend.

Motlanthe said the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the SA Communist Party (SACP)‚ formerly independent ideological partners of the ANC, had lost their way and the alliance only existed in name.

Motlanthe lashed out at the ANC‚ saying it was made up mostly of members and leaders devoid of the kind of political ability and consciousness required to maintain a united and nonracial society – a key ideal articulated during the liberation struggle.

“The point I am making is that the policies are in place‚ the constitution is in place‚ but if those in power can pick and choose when to adhere and when not to adhere then we have a very difficult situation,” he said.

His comments come at a time when former leaders of the ANC are increasingly speaking out.

Motlanthe‚ a former Robben Island prisoner‚ has served in many positions in the alliance and rose to the level of ANC deputy president.

He was scathing in his criticism of Cosatu‚ which expelled its general secretary‚ Zwelinzima Vavi‚ and its biggest union‚ the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa)‚ this year.

“You have a situation when the office bearers actively go and divide the unions,” he said.

“I can’t think of anyone who claims to be a trade unionist who can‚ with clear conscience expel 350 000 workers. It is unheard of.”

He warned that the decision to expel Numsa could cost the ANC in next year’s local government elections.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said Motlanthe was no longer in touch with developments at the federation‚ while ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said: “I don’t want to argue with my predecessor.”

SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said Motlanthe was “going off on a tangent”.

– Sam Mkokeli/Business Day

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