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LABOUR federation Cosatu has cut ties with the ANC leadership in Nelson Mandela Bay until an appeal lodged with provincial party bosses regarding the legitimacy of the newly elected ANC executive is dealt with.
The move by Cosatu in the region is the strongest indication yet that the tripartite alliance in the city is in tatters.
Some ANC branches, including Uitenhage, Kwazakhele and Motherwell, launched an appeal with the provincial ANC leaders, alleging that the conference that re-elected Nceba Faku as regional chairman last month did not reach a quorum.
Faku has dismissed the allegation, saying the conference reached a quorum as 43 branches attended.
Cosatu Port Elizabeth secretary Andile Bloko said: "The feeling of Cosatu is that it will be very difficult to work with the current ANC REC [regional executive committee] because we don’t know what the outcome of the appeal will be. It’s difficult to work with a structure whose legitimacy is in question.”
At the conference, Cosatu backed mayor Zanoxolo Wayile’s campaign to become regional chairman.
That Cosatu had taken a decision not to recognise the current ANC leadership would not delay alliance programmes, because "there’re none to begin with”, Bloko said.
"It’s not like we are holding up anything. There are no programmes of the alliance. The ANC has not been attending Cosatu meetings while we do attend theirs. The ANC, as a leader of the alliance, should be the one championing programmes of the alliance,” he said.
Faku told delegates at the ANC regional general council in October that the tripartite alliance in the region was weak and non-functional. Bloko said: "The problem is we have not had good relations with [ANC regional office] Standard House for the past two years. The ANC leadership has a tendency of being anti-Cosatu and the communists.
"They say we want to take over the running of Standard House. So this bad relationship won’t vanish overnight.
"We are waiting on the province to get back to us regarding the appeal launched with them.”
ANC regional secretary Zandisile Qupe said they had not yet received communication from Cosatu that it had temporarily cut ties with them.
"Cosatu has got nothing to do with conferences of the ANC. They get invited as an ally of the alliance. There’s no way that Cosatu can dictate who should be elected to positions.”
ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane could not be reached for comment.