Saftu lashes at Cosatu amid May Day rally collapse

Saftu lashes at Cosatu amid May Day rally collapse

The newly-launched South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has lashed out at rival trade union federation Cosatu amid scenes of chaos at its May Day rally in Bloemfontein.

Zwelinzima Vavi
Gallo Images

President Jacob Zuma was expected to address workers, but the crowd turned on him as soon as he arrived at the event.


"We are going to close the event and nobody is going to make a speech. Comrades, the event is hereby formally closed and you are all hereby released," Cosatu's provinvial chair in the Free State Manyatso Mahlatse told workers who refused to listen to pleas to calm down.


The Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi led the charge against President Jacob Zuma, the ANC, as well as the tripartite alliance.

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He told workers the fight between President Zuma and the South African Communist Party's (SACP) Blade Nzimande has got nothing to do with advancing the people of South Africa.


"All of them are engaged in a titanic battle between themselves to sort out the eating queue," says Vavi, "their factions will be about which faction is going to distribute patronage, which faction will take control of the tenders."

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Political analyst professor Somadoda Fikeni says Zuma needs to understand that the tripartite alliance is no longer behind him. 


"In a normal situation this would warrant a reflection on his part to say do 'I want to save myself no matter what, or do I want to save the alliance even at my own expense, by making sure at least I attend to the issues that have been raised'," says Fikeni.

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