I'm curious what's really behind this row?
Xolani Xundu, The Times, 1 February 2008
A top South African Communist Party leader has labelled Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary, a “Trotskyite who wants to drive the federation in the province into the hands of the Democratic Alliance”.
On Tuesday last week SACP Western Cape secretary Khaya Magaxa wrote this in a letter to Ehrenreich and copied it to all Cosatu affiliates in the province , including SACP branches, Cosatu provincial office bearers, and to SACP and Cosatu headquarters.
In the letter, Magaxa also accused Ehrenreich of being a “renegade”, “an unaccountable leader” and of leading “a group of friends in the fringe-left coalition, ultra- left(ists), who continue to foment a crisis in the alliance ” with the purpose of getting the workers as far away from the SACP and the ANC as possible.
He said the reason for this was that Ehrenreich and his “ultra-leftist” friends were not members of the SACP or the ANC.
“To us, this is a right-wing tendency disguised as ultra-leftism,” he wrote.
Magaxa went on to say that Ehrenreich’s invitation to DA leader Helen Zille to address a Cosatu shop-steward council meeting demonstrated that he had right- wing tendencies disguised as ultra- leftism .
He added that this invitation indicated that Ehrenreich was not only bringing right- wing elements into Cosatu, but that he wanted to get as many workers away from the SACP and the ANC and deliver them to the DA “sooner than we think”.
Ehrenreich, he said, wanted to reduce the SACP “into a child that needs to be told what to do ”.
“We wish to make it clear that the SACP is the political party of the workers and the poor, and that it is not an ungovernable Cosatu affiliate,” says Magaxa .
“The behaviour of Comrade Tony is no different to the one of comrade Leon Trotsky who fomented a crisis in the Soviet Union, creating factions and fighting the leadership under the guise of defending the revolution,” Magaxa wrote in the letter.
Ehrenreich refused to comment, saying he wanted to discuss the contents of the letter with Magaxa first.
The attack on Ehrenreich comes at a time when Cosatu is preparing for its national congress next year.
This will be preceded by provincial congresses during which Ehrenreich’s position might be contested