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Youth league branch tells off Cosatu’s Zingiswa Losi after criticism of Sisulu

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi. File photo.
Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi. File photo.
Image: Thulani Mbele

“Stick to labour issues and leave ANC matters to ANC leaders.”

This was the advice given to Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi by the ANC Youth League in Vhembe which has come to the defence of tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

“The comradely advice we want to convey to the Cosatu president is for her to stick to labour issues and leave ANC matters to ANC leaders. You have never heard Sisulu pronouncing on Cosatu matters, after all she is not accountable to Cosatu, but to us the ANC membership, as we have deployed her,” said regional youth leader Gogome Ernest in a statement released on Monday.

Hitting back on Tuesday, Losi said: “We are in alliance with the ANC, not with the youth league. I spoke in the ANC lekgotla on behalf of Cosatu and whatever I say, I am mandated by the federation. I do not speak out of my own emotion.

“But we are happy that the ANC lekgotla welcomed our input and used it in all commissions as a point of reflection for them to get to the conclusion that they would have arrived at at the lekgotla, so this is not even worth a proper response,” said Losi.

Losi was referring to a Sunday Times report which stated that Sisulu came under fire at the ANC’s national executive committee meeting at the weekend, with the party’s highest decision-making structure siding overwhelmingly with President Cyril Ramaphosa in the battle over Sisulu's criticism of the constitution and the judiciary.

The Cosatu president is one of the people who took aim at Sisulu, who recently was at loggerheads with Ramaphosa over a meeting that took place last Wednesday in which Ramaphosa is said to have admonished her for her controversial opinion.

The labour federation president told the NEC Sisulu’s behaviour was unacceptable.  

“We deploy members to represent the movement, not themselves, in government. Their mandate is the ANC’s election manifesto. Yet we are now subject to people who swore an oath to defend the constitution, running to the media to rubbish the very constitution this movement of Madiba drafted,” Losi said. 

“It is unacceptable and unbecoming for senior leaders and cabinet members to attack the constitution. The failure to discipline deployees is feeding a culture of mediocrity.

“In fact we are seen to reward and promote those who have been found wanting. If comrades are tired, then they must leave. As we emerge from a decade of state capture, we cannot tolerate ANC public representatives publicly attacking our constitution.”

Defending Sisulu, Ernest said Losi, “opted to make it her call to attack Lindiwe Sisulu for exercising her democratic right”.

He said, “In her attack of Sisulu, it became clear that she (Losi) either had a challenge of comprehension on themes of the article or she was factionally instructed to attack Sisulu at all costs.”

He said the young people in the region would prefer it if Losi could, “Please stick to your Cosatu lane and allow Sisulu, (to stick) on her ANC lane if you can’t match her intellectually ... For Losi to tell us that Sisulu must leave the ANC is the last straw and it explains all the reasons she must be urgently admitted at the OR Tambo School of Leadership.

“If Sisulu is a threat and an obstacle to ambitious people such as Losi, it is for Losi and those with unbridled ambition to live with the reality that Sisulu is ANC to the core, she is us and we are Sisulu. Cosatu dismally failed on everything under Losi.”


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