The secretary-general of the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa, Frans Baleni, today warned his counterparts from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa that there is no Morgan Tsvangirai or Frederick Chiluba option in South Africa.
NUMSA has been at loggerheads with the trade union federation the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) and has said it will not support the African National Congress in this year’s elections.
COSATU is an alliance partner with the ANC.
Baleni said NUMSA were suffering from “auto-immunity disorder”.
“This is when a body’s immune system makes a mistake of attacking some cells of the same body. For them to go out and attack the federation, they are working for the enemy,” he said.
He added: “No one should be above the federation; we must all be subjected to discipline. Regardless of the period we have served the federation, we should avoid the Morgan Tsvangirai option or the Chiluba option where trade unionist becomes a politician thinking they can take power.”
Tsvangirai left the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions where he was secretary-general to lead the Movement for Democratic Change but has failed to win a seat or beat President Robert Mugabe, except in 2008 when he beat Mugabe but did not win enough votes to become president.
Chiluba left the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions to form the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy and became president of Zambia for two terms.