It's 'moral cretins' EFF vs 'white monopoly capital' Cosatu

Trade union federation Cosatu on Wednesday condemned the EFF's "infantile, racist" attack on its parliamentary coordinator.

Cosatu's parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks presented a submission that supported expropriation without compensation to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee on Tuesday. However, he was among those who argued a constitutional amendment was not necessary, as Section 25 already provides for expropriation.

EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele questioned why Cosatu's representative speaking on land was white and presenting a "white minority view".

Parks said the EFF sometimes confused rudeness with political militancy.

He said Cosatu's submission made several suggestions as it did not want to be guilty of "populist sloganeering".

"No, no, no, we are not going to allow that man to say I'm a populist," said Mokwele.

'A white messiah'

Then, on Wednesday, the EFF released a statement calling on "progressive Cosatu members who want the land back and expropriation without compensation to resign from Cosatu unions in their numbers and look for alternate unions, which will appreciate that black workers need the land back".

"The EFF registers its deep disappointment at Cosatu which sent a white messiah to Parliament to oppose land expropriation without compensation," reads EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's statement.

"In essence Cosatu, through a white messiah, argued that land expropriation can be achieved without amending the Constitution. This is a lie that will only see the same repetition of land reform failures that characterised South Africa for the last 24 years. All forces opposed to the amendment of the Constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation wittingly or unwittingly favour the maintenance of the status quo."

In response, Cosatu released a statement condemning "the immature and racist attacks by the EFF directed" at Parks. 

"Some inconsequential EFF MP and her leader Floyd Shivambu accused our parliamentary coordinator Mathew Parks of siding with white monopoly capital and serving white interests because he is also white," reads the statement from Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla. 

"These moral cretins and political idiots said this after Cde Mathew Parks communicated Cosatu's position of supporting the expropriation of land without compensation but opposing the changing of section 25 of the Constitution.

EFF 'race hustlers'

Cosatu said it was not surprised by "these outrageous attacks" directed at Parks "by these organised noisemakers and professional race hustlers". 

"They are nothing but angry, self-pitying delusionists with the moral compass of an opportunistic infection. These creatures of bombastic nonsense thrive on any applause or social media likes that they can get through flippant name-calling."

Pamla said Cosatu was a non-racial organisation with a proud history of fighting apartheid and rejecting racism. 

"We believe that all workers, regardless of race, should organise and unite and we are proud of the immense contribution that many white, coloured and Indian compatriots have made in not only fighting apartheid but in building this country."

"We will fight race hustlers like the EFF and their race-baiting tendencies, the same way we fight arrogant and entitled white supremacists."

Pamla said the EFF was welcome to discuss its views on Cosatu's submissions with the federation "without engaging in political theatrics".