Statement from the first National Office Bearers meeting held on 11 October 2015
First and foremost we can confirm that our trade union DETAWU is a break away from the former giant union called SATAWU.
It took us more than 2 years of hard fighting to cleans the union from all sort of manner of wrong doings including but not limited to :- autocracy, intolerance of descending views, purging of critical comrades within the union, broad financial mismanagement, none adherence to the union constitution, violation and distortion of worker control, none sitting of constitutional structures, pursuing of none mandated positions by the secretariat, poor service to members, suppression of views, none fulfilment of union commitment to its members, disregard of employment policies, patronage and many more.
All our revolutionary efforts to save the union from being turned into a business trade union, into a toothless dog has failed, we concede with bleeding heavy hearts given our contributions and our forbearers contributions in making the union a force to be reckoned with.
We confirm that the union DETAWU held its founding National Congress on 24 September 2015 in Pretoria and amongst other things elected its national leadership and mandated the leadership to endeavor to establish structures throughout the country as a priority guided by the union constitution. This we shall spare no efforts nor courage to achieve.
The union National leadership collective brings together a vast experience of trade unionism and a broader understanding of workers struggles. We are not a product of entrysm.
The union President comrade June Dube has been at the forefront of workers struggles for more than 3 decades and has been a COSATU Central Executive Committee member for more than 20 years now.
He is not a June come late in the struggle. He has been part of the T&GWU and former SATAWU prolonged merge talks.
He has proudly led SATAWU at the National level from its inception until the day he was ejected from the union for being correct and defending the union constitution.
By the way this is the union that has dismissed 2 Presidents just in one term of office and countless shop stewards, union officials, provincial leaders to an extend even members.
Our General Secretary Comrade Vusi Ntshangase also brings along vast administrative and organizational experience since he has been first a shop steward, an organizer and a Provincial Secretary of SATAWU in one of the fast growing and administratively well managed province of Mpumalanga.
He has been a Provincial Secretary for 9 years until he was ejected from the union for demanding accountability from the Secretariat. There is enough documentary evidence for this.
He has served in the Provincial Executive Committee of COSATU in Mpumalanga for 09 years. He has also served in the Gauteng Provincial executive committee of COSATU as a Springs local chairperson before he got deployed to SATAWU Mpumalanga Province in 2004.
We want the people of this country to know that the safety of our leaders continue to be under severe danger and we continue to be followed by strange cars, receiving strange phone calls from private numbers and messages from untraceable numbers.
Despite all these we want to state that amount of provocation or intimidation shall deter us from taking the struggle forward, the struggle shall continue even if it means death, we shall die with our boots on.
We place it on record that all the union National Office Bearers have been active members both in the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) in their own rights to such that some have saved in structures in the alliance and continue to do so without any reservations whatsoever. We want to place it on record that all the National Office Bearers have committed themselves to remain active and loyal members of both the ANC our liberation movement and the SACP as the vanguard of the working class and the insurance of workers.
This is contrary to the hallucination and lies peddled by our adversaries branding us as counter revolutionaries, that we are opposed to the ANC and the party, that we are working with the forces agitating for a regime change and that we are being funded by the imperialists in order to position themselves as “thee” ANC leaders.
We place it on record that this is a blunted lies and signs of desperation by our adversaries, these are just last kicks of a dying donkey.
This must be dismissed in the strongest possible contempt it deserves and be discouraged going forward. We describe this as cheap politicking.
People by wearing expensive special design of the ANC regalia begin to regard themselves as the most important ANC members. Our understating is completely different to this because our understating is that individuals get recognized in the ANC on the bases of their contribution in the struggle, their commitment towards the betterment of the lives of our people and their commitment to ANC principles and policies. Not the other way round, it shall never be the other way round. Struggle credentials are not inherited.
We also place it on record that we intend to approach COSATU very soon with an intention to affiliate, we want to affiliate to COSATU.
At the international front we also intend affiliating to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and UNI in order to play a meaningful and strategic role in taking forward the international workers solidarity. We will be in communication with them soon.
As we are currently engaged on a very offensive combat recruitment campaign as the only campaign of the union for now.
We would like to extend a revolutionary invitation to all workers in all the sectors we are organizing to liberate themselves, to free themselves and join the Democratic Transport and Allied workers union in order to ensure that together we can pursue the struggle to improve both their working and living conditions not the vice versa.
We are very mindful of the fact that without workers joining the union in numbers we can only remain a union on paper.
National Office Bearer’s statement.
For further information contact the General Secretary Vusi Ntshangase at 083 536 0547