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Nimrod Sejake

The best traditions of socialist struggle

(December 1985)

From Militant, No. 778, 13 December 1985, p. 10.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The formation of COSATU, uniting half a million trade union members, takes up the workers’ struggle for democracy and socialism that SACTU was forced to leave off after the 1950’s. The big difference is that COSATU has ten times the forces.

The fact that the workers have now rejected the name South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) for their new federation is not a rejection of the past traditions of SACTU. But it is a rejection of a link to an exiled “leadership” which has failed to build inside the country.

The leadership has opposed international workers’ links with the unions making up COSATU and denigrated the workers’ leadership emerging in the country.

COSATU now embodies all the best traditions of SACTU. All sections of the workers to whom SACTU could historically lay claim are now in COSATU. The use of the word “Congress” in COSATU shows the workers want to build the ANC as a force for transformation of society.

The exiled “SACTU” leaders have now served their time and can no longer lay false claim to leadership of the movement in the country. They should now give unqualified support to COSATU as the recognised trade union body of South African workers nationally and internationally.

SACTU is now dead: long live COSATU!

Nimrod Sejake was a founder member of SACTU, an ANC treason trialist, and secretary of Transvaal Iron and Steel Workers’ Union in the 1950s.

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