PRETORIA, Sept 15 (NNN-SABC) -- The governments of Swaziland and Morocco came under fierce criticism at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) International Conference held in Braamfontein.
Swaziland was criticised for its lack of democracy and Morocco for the occupation of Western Sahara. Israel was not left out for its position towards the people of Palestine.
Civil society activists say this undemocratic rule has reached unprecedented levels.
Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) Secretary General Vincent Ncongwane says, “We hope that Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) are going to have to try and do something otherwise their protocols are not going to count for anything.”
The situation in Western Sahara remains a sore thumb and a call for workers solidarity to fight it off the occupation.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretary-General, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson says, “We believe that labour must play the vanguard role in trying to unite progressive forces in Africa, to ensure that this matter is fought and that our brothers and sisters in Western Sahara join other citizens of Africa in becoming free.”
Sovereignty over Western Sahara is contested between Morocco and Polisario Front and its legal status remains unresolved.
Whilst Western Sahara remains colonised by an African country in Africa, there are concerns of non-cooperation by labour in the matter.
Cosatu believes it would be difficult for an outside trade union to have influence.
Cosatu acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says, “The trade union in Morocco wanted Cosatu to hold the conference in Morocco. Cosatu objected on the basis that Morocco occupies Western Sahara and we could not get support from the trade union in Morocco.”
The situation in Palestine was not left out. Israel slated for its apartheid against Palestine.
Palestine Ambassador in South Africa, Bassam Elhussiny says, “We need more solidarity and support from the international community.”
On Tuesday, the conference is expected to discuss the advancement of industrialization to create jobs and stopping the illicit financial flows out of the continent. -- NNN-SABC