Umsebenzi Online has just (yesterday) published a stern warning to Cosatu from SACP deputy secretary general Jeremy Cronin about the trade union federation’s recent “Civil Society Conference”.
Cronin’s “intervention” (his word) is torn between warning:
- that the conference plays into the hands of “anti-transformation”, “anti-majoritarian” “right-wing liberals” and
- the fact that leading members of Cosatu’s partner organisations in the endeavour “share an activist history going back to the 1980s when they were involved in the “Marxist Workers’ Tendency” – a left-wing entryist formation that sought to transform the ANC into a workers’ party”.
So if you want the crude summary Cronin thinks Cosatu (and especially its secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi) is either misguidedly or deliberately serving the agenda of:
- those who would like to see Apartheid survive and US imperialism rule forever, and
- the same old anti-Soviet Trots who hated the SACP in the old days and still want to win the workers away from the party today.
I think both these reasons for warning Cosatu off are wrong-headed, but Cronin’s interventions are always interesting and are especially instructive for those prepared to poke around in the fermenting and bubbling interstices of his argument.
I will, therefore, be examining bits and pieces of what he has to say during the course of the day.