Forge unity - Mabuza urges divided KZN at Mayday rally

01 May 2018 - 16:38 By Jeff Wicks
Deputy President David Mabuza.
Deputy President David Mabuza.
Image: Jeff Wicks

Deputy President David Mabuza addressed issues of disunity and divisive politics on Tuesday as the ruling party in KwaZulu-Natal grapples with a leadership divide.

Mabuza was speaking at the May Day celebrations of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) at Durban's Curries Fountain. The trade unionists had earlier marched from City Hall to the grounds‚ with the crowd of several hundred clad in red flooding onto the stands.

"It is undeniable that the run-up to the 54th National Conference was a period of disunity and strife. We are undergoing a process of painstakingly rebuilding the unity of our movement around the objectives of putting in place a united‚ non-racial‚ non-sexist‚ democratic and prosperous South Africa‚" he said.

"Building unity requires work‚ being frank about our challenges and committing to the common goal of working together to place our movement on a solid footing to serve the people of South Africa. Unity will not emerge miraculously if our comrades are still operating in factions and destroying one another. The duty to build genuine unity rests with each and every one of us. We must never get tired in our quest to forge unity and struggle."

The province remains a particular point of concern for the governing party‚ with the provincial executive committee dissolved by a Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling last year.

The leadership echelon had been challenged by a group of "rebels" who went to court on the basis that the elective conference that put the committee in power had been flawed.

The court dissolved the PEC and gave stringent time frames for the party to hold an elective conference afresh‚ a date which has since come and gone. The leadership of the party remains in flux‚ and is led by an interim team appointed by the national executive committee‚ with no date set for an elective conference.

On divisions in the tripartite alliance‚ Mabuza said that the air needed to be cleared.

"The alliance must be strengthened and built and we must embark on a clear programme to deal with the lingering tensions among us. All of us must listen to one another and engage on the basis of mutual respect and appreciation for one another as independent formations in a longstanding strategic alliance."