Numsa hits out at FW's 'arrogance'
FORMER president FW de Klerk and Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille have come under fire for "arrogantly provoking and undermining" black South Africans.
National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) secretary Irvin Jim yesterday attacked De Klerk, whom he said was an adviser to Zille, for comments he made to CNN in which he tried to justify the apartheid system.
In the same breath Zille was also accused of being racist for wanting to push for the "inferior" youth wage subsidy, and for trying to manipulate workers.
Jim said the Democratic Alliance's (DA) planned march to the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) office tomorrow to protest the labour federation's opposition to the government's youth wage subsidy proposal was a "spit on the shield of the black working class".
"They have been openly arrogant, stating that they have not given power to the majority, but to the Constitution," Jim said at a joint Numsa-Cosatu media briefing in Johannesburg, with Cosatu affiliates the Communications Workers' Union and the South Africa Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers' Union also in attendance.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL), Young Communist League and the SA Students' Congress (Sasco) were also at the briefing.
"The fact that De Klerk can be so arrogant and tell us that homeland systems were by design very good for the country and that the court that charged Nelson Mandela was basically a noble court, is an insult, a provocation." said Jim.
In the interview De Klerk denied that blacks in the homelands were disenfranchised.
He discussed his "historical antagonism" and current friendship with former president Nelson Mandela, the failure of the apartheid system and the shortcomings of the current government.
Jim said Cosatu would use the DA march to mobilise the working class to embark on a programme to ensure that the economy is returned to its rightful owners.
He said political power without economic power was an empty shell.
The DA march, Jim said, was a "class provocation" and marked the beginning of open class warfare.
He denied any insinuation of violence, but warned the DA for marching against the "wrong people".
Jim said Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi would receive the DA's memorandum.
ANCYL national executive member Thabo Kupa said the DA was "jealous" at Cosatu for being leaders of the working class.
"They are hellbent (on) reversing the gains of democratic order. They are the instigators of neo-apartheid."
He said an attack on Cosatu was an attack on the broader liberation movement. He called on all young people to gather at Cosatu's office.
Sasco generak secretary Thema Masondo said about 2000 students would be at the march. He said they would not stand idle while their interests were being trampled upon.