Vavi slates 'tenderpreneurs'
Johannesburg - "Tenderpreneurs" speak the language of the masses and present themselves as messiahs to advance their narrow economic agenda, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.
"They know for any project and regime change agenda to work you must speak the popular language of the masses and present yourself as their messiah," he said at the National Union of Mineworkers' central committee in Boksburg.
"You cannot tell the workers and the poor the truth that your real ambition is accumulation and more and more (of an) expensive bourgeois lifestyle and opulence; you have to talk their language even though everything you are about is accumulation and self-centredness."
To advance this agenda, the "most spectacular and unprincipled demagogic political rhetoric" was used to obscure the true objective which was material gain, corruption and looting.
Vavi reiterated that the "new tendency" sought to polarise and weaken the alliance - the ANC, Cosatu, SACP and Sanco.
Vavi warned there was a failure in the alliance to appreciate the dangers associated with the new tendency.
He criticised the SA Communist Party, saying its approach to key questions such as nationalisation and economic transformation were "anything but desirable".
Vavi then turned to the ANC leadership, accusing it of making serious mistakes.
"The post-Polokwane ANC leadership has also committed some serious mistakes, ranging from dithering and steering clear of taking bold decisions, openly attacking the workers' federation and a failure to consistently drive the Polokwane resolutions and the five priorities of the 2009 Elections Manifesto," he said.
The ruling party leadership had been "twisting its tongue" on decent work and its failure to act against "clear acts of corruption" by ministers and senior leaders.
Vavi was on the verge of being disciplined earlier last year, over his lashing of the Zuma administration for a soft touch in handling allegations of corruption.
"All of these are signals of disintegrating left forces in the Alliance.
"This disintegration disarms us in terms of waging a concerted class battle against the predatory elite in the state and the Alliance, and to capture the mood in society and drive a radical left project that will place us on a better footing towards the 2014 elections. "
He urged the NUM to ponder the issues he raised with a "self-critical" eye.
He tackled allegations that a faction in Cosatu wanted to see the back of SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
Unity was critical and this could only be attained through principled open debates.
"As far as I know, there is no attack of the SACP orchestrated by any individual or faction within the federation. What exists is a difference of opinion on whether it is helpful for the SACP and the struggle for socialism to have a general secretary who is not full-time in the head offices of the SACP.
" This is not an attack; this is not an agenda of a regime change." Rather, it was a principled stance adopted by Cosatu as a whole.
"Attempts to isolate those who speak on behalf of a collective are not a solution."
Vavi's final comment before leaving the podium was a stark warning on the consequences of failing to protect the alliance from those wanting to use it as a conduit for anti-working class policies.
"Failure to do this will result in the working class searching for other alternatives, as it has begun to do in other parts of the world such as Europe, including the most conservative of forces," he said.