ANC: ‘Do not divide Limpopo’

Cosatu urges Mopani ANC to support Ramaphosa

AKANI MANGENA

THE African National Congress in Mopani District along with the Youth League in Limpopo have called on the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) to stop dividing the movement in the province.

The calls follow statements made by Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Speaking during the 30th-anniversary celebration of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) at the University of Limpopo last week Friday, Ntshalintshali advised the defeated faction in the recently held Mopani Regional conference to continue mobilizing for Cyril Ramaphosa to become the President.

“Comrades, go back to that region there, Mopani. You must go back there to mobilize comrades and say comrades wake up, save South Africa and let us all rally around comrade Cyril Ramaphosa,” Ntshalintshali said to loud cheers.

Ntshalintshali also used the occasion to reassure the ANC that COSATU would never turn its back on the organisation because if the alliance partnership breaks, the state of the economy will continue to deteriorate.

Ntshalintshali’s remarks were however perceived to be dividing the province and the two formations seen as backers of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the upcoming elective conference hit back. Bisikopo Makamu, who was re-elected as Regional Secretary in Mopani told African Times that it was unfortunate that Ntshalintshali uttered such irresponsible remarks.

He appealed to all leaders of the movement to refrain from the dividing the region.

“We want to tell national leaders from alliance partners and ANC structures to go away from the region in terms of dividing it. Whoever wants to come in, must help to unite our region,” he said.

Makamu said although the region has not pronounced on the preferred leadership of the ANC, there is no Cyril Ramaphosa faction anymore in the region because that faction succumbed to a defeat during a highly contested conference to determine the new leadership, in Limpopo’s biggest region.

Makamu’s sentiments were also shared by the outspoken ANCYL Secretary in the Province David ‘Che’ Selane who reiterated his remarks that Cosatu should focus on stopping worker exploitation instead of being caught in political squabbles of the ANC.

He also said that the current Cosatu leadership of Ntshalintshali and Sidumo Dlamini is an accident of history because they failed to champion the mission to serve the best interests of workers across the country.

“If Ntshalintshali and other Cosatu leaders are members of the ANC, let them go to branches of the ANC and not use that federation to outdrive and peddle divisions within the ANC. Theirs is about this thing of pushing for Ramaphosa while workers continue to suffer,” Selane told African Times.

The sour relationship between ANC structures and the trade union federation at the provincial level intensified after Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was invited by Cosatu as a keynote speaker at a rally hosted at Seshego Stadium last month.

The leagues came out to lambaste Limpopo Premier and ANC Chairperson Stan Mathabatha who publicly said the ANC in the province supports Ramaphosa. The league said they have thrown their weight behind Dlamini Zuma.

Cosatu provincial Secretary Gerald Twala supported Ntshalintshali’s statements, saying the federation across the province should continue campaigning for Ramaphosa.

“Let’s continue to engage branches in Mopani to support Cyril Ramaphosa to become the President and I believe Secretary- General is right to say members

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