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Unions: SA heading for Nigeria

Aug 10 2010 07:32 Jan de Lange

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Johannesburg - Powerful pleas against corruption have been delivered by two of the country’s most influential trade union and political protagonists, Jay Naidoo and Zwelinzima Vavi.

Cosatu general secretary Vavi warned that within the next five years South Africa would resemble the corrupt communities of Luanda in Angola, or be like Nigeria if corruption was not soon cracked down upon.

Vavi was speaking at a working session of the new human rights organisation called Section27, which will focus on championing the socioeconomic rights enshrined in the constitution.

He reckoned the outcome would be a situation in which there was only one way to survive: get a government position and feed at the trough.

He said that the state would then become a battleground with no question of service delivery. To some extent this was already happening.

It was ironic that only a tiny minority in South Africa had become powerful because it had money and could buy votes, said Vavi.

Naidoo, the founding general secretary of Cosatu and subsequently minister of telecommunications before he fell out of favour with former president Thabo Mbeki, became visibly emotional when speaking about corruption.

He said corruption was a disgusting predatory cancer.

There were people with piles of money walking around buying votes at conferences, stealing licences and selling tenders.

They would typically win a tender to build a road in some township, a road which at the first rain would wash away. These were people who stole from school feeding programmes and took grants meant for the old and infirm.

This was a national cancer because it affected everyone, he declared.

- Sake24.com

For business news in Afrikaans, go to www.sake24.com.

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