Madisha plans to form new union federation

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

Former Cosatu president Willie Madisha says the new federation he is establishing will be "totally independent" of any political affiliation.

Madisha, pictured, an ally of former president Thabo Mbeki, was purged from Cosatu and the SA Democratic Teachers Union after the ANC Polokwane national congress in December 2007. He is on the Congress of the People (Cope) national parliamentary list.

But Madisha said yesterday that even Cope would not be allowed to interfere politically with the federation's members.

"These workers are totally not affiliated with any political organisation. Even Cope cannot be seen as the organisation to which these workers and unions must to belong."

He said the need for an independent union arose after Cosatu members allied to Cope were "intimidated". He said workers were also disillusioned that their resources were being used to fund ANC campaigns.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven dismissed the federation.

"There is no possibility that this could be serious. You can't have a federation before you have unions."