The Fees Must Fall protests had dire consequences for café employee Eddie at the University of Cape .
Failure to elect an ANC leadership that respects the party's branches and the tripartite alliance would lead to a right- wing victory within the ruling party, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said at the weekend.
Vavi was addressing the SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union's 10th congress in Durban.
He said: "If we falter and elect a leadership that is not committed, it will allow the right-wing to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat." Vavi said Cosatu would lobby for a "leadership collective that respects the branches and the (tripartite) alliance."
Vavi said the ANC did not need a leadership which "sat in their air conditioned offices, completely indifferent to our suffering as workers".
He praised the ANC for resolutions taken at its recent policy conference, but said policy decisions would be meaningless unless implemented by the ANC leadership to be elected at the upcoming 52nd national congress in Limpopo in December.
"We have an interest in the outcome of the conference as workers and as members of the ANC," he said.
Referring to the recent dismissal of Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, he said: "Since the president did not disclose his reasons for taking such a drastic step, we can only speculate the deputy minister is paying for her courageous position on HIV-Aids and her refusal to sweep health problems under the carpet".
He said the decision to axe the deputy minister sent a message that the government values mediocrity.
"I think firing the deputy minister sent a message, against the backdrop of untouchables of deadwood ministers, that people remain in positions irrespective of their performance," Vavi said
He urged delegates not to keep silent when their leaders failed them or merely "follow them like sheep". - Sapa