Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi says revolution in South Africa is no longer a distant reality, as the country sits on a powder keg that is slowly approaching detonation. He was delivering the annual Dullah Omar Human Rights Annual Lecture in Johannesburg last night.
Vavi has decried deteriorating inequality, poverty and unemployment, which he says are in many respects worse than they were at the dawn of democracy in 1994.
He has warned the country’s rich against fooling themselves into believing that their reign is permanent.
“The hammer blow of a revolution is no longer a distant reality. Those who today conveniently claim neutrality and sit on the fence whilst blatant injustice is being committed on the people, will not be spared from the wrath of the people. When the poor decide to rise one day, the champions of neutrality will be reminded that neutrality is a best friend to oppression,” says Vavi
South Africans achieved a “political breakthrough” in 1994, but failed to achieve a similar breakthrough in economic transformation 18-years on.
He also says that South Africans are “rapidly forgetting” the traditions created during the fight for democracy. “We are rapidly forgetting the traditions of our movement, which valued service to the people above any thought of personal advancement,” says Vavi.
“The squalid morality of the capitalists, based on me-first and survival of the fittest is seeping even into our own revolutionary movement, dragging in its wake huge problems of factionalism and even assassination of opponents and whistle-blowers.”
He says South Africans achieved a “political breakthrough” in 1994, but failed to achieve a similar breakthrough in economic transformation 18-years on. “There must be something burning. This is not a trade union problem. This is the challenge that South Africa as a whole must deal with.” – Additional reporting by Sapa