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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Cosatu has eye on ‘second chimurenga’, says analyst

Political economy analyst Zamikhaya Maseti said the trade union federation was eyeing the second phase of the struggle.

This week’s decision by Cosatu to ban President Jacob Zuma from attending its gatherings marks the separating of ideological lines within the tripartite alliance partners and the beginning of a new struggle for economic emancipation, an analyst says.

Political economy analyst Zamikhaya Maseti told The Citizen the trade union federation was eyeing the second phase of the struggle, or what he called the “second chimurenga” – a Shona term for struggle.

“The second chimurenga is the economic struggle that we have entered into and it is getting more acute,” he said. Maseti was referring to the post-democratic economic liberation phase envisaged as the second stage, when the battle would focus on the transfer of the economic levers from the capitalist class to the black majority, many of whom comprised the poor working class.

“Therefore, ideological battle lines are clearly drawn and Cosatu is drawing that line in the sand. As the class struggle becomes acute, class contradictions become more antagonistic,” Maseti said.

He said the rupture in the tripartite alliance was inevitable and necessitated by Cosatu’s attitude towards Zuma. It is very difficult to predict, but the ANC came close to that point last year.

“It’s time these liberation allies went their separate ways. The contradictions between the alliance partners are antagonistic and irreconcilable,” Maseti said.

Cosatu had decided to opt for Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma as the ANC and the country’s president. But the opposing pro-Zuma faction of the ANC favours Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over from her former husband in both portfolios.

Cosatu’s decision to ban Zuma from its gatherings followed its earlier call that he must step down. The federation’s closest ally, the SA Communist Party, also demanded that the struggle stalwart should step aside.

“It is clear that the ANC under Zuma does not represent the interests of the working class and the poor. They are now prepared to walk away from him and throw him out. This is how I see this inevitable rupture,” said Maseti.



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