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Cosatu, Motlanthe meet over ‘alliance is dead’ comments

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Cosatu’s national office bearers met with Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday following comments made by the former deputy president that the tripartite alliance was dead.

“It was a cordial and constructive meeting, where all the parties agreed to respect the decisions taken by the constitutional structures, of the respective alliance formations and to always raise any matters openly with those involved,” Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said in a statement.

He said Motlanthe gave the context in which his statements were made.

The trade union federation also clarified what its position was on some of the issues raised.

When contacted for clarity on Cosatu’s position, its president Sdumo Dlamini said the federation would not say more than what it had issued in its statement.

In an interview with Business Day at the weekend, Motlanthe said the tripartite alliance – of the ANC, SA Communist Party and Congress of SA Trade Unions – was dead and anyone who believed otherwise was delusional.

The alliance only existed in name, he told the newspaper.

Motlanthe, who has served as secretary general of the ANC and deputy president, left the leadership structures of the party after the 2012 Mangaung elective conference.

Cosatu on Wednesday admitted that the last few years had been difficult for the trade union federation and that some “historic, unfortunate but unavoidable events have taken place”.

“This represented a very difficult period that tested the unity of the workers,” said Pamla.

“As Cosatu, we want to make it clear that we are still committed to the principled unity of the workers and we will continue to ensure that Cosatu remains the home of all workers of South Africa.”

Last year, the trade union federation expelled its biggest affiliate the National Union of Metalworkers of SA while earlier this year it expelled its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

These decisions had split Cosatu affiliates in their support for Vavi and the current leadership under Dlamini leading to some unions boycotting meetings.

The federation had a special national congress in July this year which was aimed at building unity in Cosatu.

Cosatu will hold its elective congress later this month and celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Pamla said Cosatu was open to engaging with former alliance leaders and receiving advice from them.

Cosatu respected Motlanthe and continued to value his views and opinions and that the matter between the two was officially closed, he added. News24

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