We need to open up and be honest about Comrade Mogwera’s inability to lead. In every congress, the delegates make a determination following a series of observations, engagements in debates and evidence provided. It is all this that ultimately decide the tone and mood of the congress and ultimately it is this tone and mood that is a determining factor at a congress election. The Kasane congress in its subtle tone and intends resolved that Comrade Mogwera has failed BOPEU. Those of us who campaigned for her preached a need for continuity as we believed that we could not replace the entire leadership. I concede that we were wrong. She should have been removed. But that we have failed to use our ballot power should not make her forget that we in the same entrusted a new leadership to be our voice in between congresses, and that where a need for remedy arises, they should utilise it. She knows these principles. She has served BOPEU. And she has used the same principle on others. It is now her turn to experience the principle being used on her.
She knows that very well that, primarily as a result of her purging those who wanted to contest against her, and her chosen few, the congress felt that such was not proper as it merely went against the principles of the BOPEU democratic centralism. I want to emphasise the importance of an internal trade union vote. A vote becomes the ultimate voice of the organisation, and election results at our Kasane congress were essentially a voice of the collective BOPEU. Whatever those elected do with the power and authority that we have bestowed on them, is that which we have opted for. And it is through our vote that we were simply saying to them that ‘comrades, please and go rectify everything that has become an anomaly at BOPEU’. It so happens that in their judgement, Comrade Mogwera is the anomaly. We can’t bestow them with power and authority and expect them not to act.
Members of BOPEU have through vote spoken that they are comfortable with the majority that took over the supremacies from Comrade Mogwera’s select few. She must just let go. Trying to purge those who won at a congress is unacceptable. She is not prepared to serve with them and she should in the same vein vacate the position. Democratic centralism is about appreciating that the centre decides, no matter your dissenting view as a leader. This is a basic test that sadly Comrade Mogwera has failed, and continue to fail. And continuing to have her at the leadership of BOPEU is essentially celebrating the weakness she so proudly parades. I am amongst the most disappointed comrades as I had always, until after Kasane congress, respected and trusted Comrade Mogwera. She now seems to be stuck in a very dark corner unable to realise that she has lost the power and cannot run BOPEU like her private entity. The views of the National Executive Committee, as in every organisation, are expected to be a resolution when the majority within such a structure have voiced in debate and buttressed through a vote. She has always known this, but she all of a sudden appear to have developed political amnesia.
I might not have necessarily supported then the team that won the Kasane congress elections, but I famine to take this opportunity to highlight the bigger lessons out of the Kasane congress. Comrades were honest to say that the problem we are now facing as a union have to do primarily with the leadership of Comrade Mogwera. Those of us who doubted them have come to the painful realisation that these revolutionary leaders risked being insulted and being confused with counter-revolution. It is the selflessness of these comrades, their commitment, sacrifices and dedication to the revolution that we are at least able to defend and advance the activism and revolution of our trade movement to this point.
Comrade Mogwera must let those elected in majority to lead the organisation. It is not for her, but for us the membership to judge them. And we shall as usual once more, when an opportunity arises through a congress, re-elect them or replace them. It is not her call. It is our call. But because the majority of them as elected in Kasane wants her gone, it is their call, their voice is our voice and as such it is our call. The new leadership must also take charge convincingly, they must be resolute and decisive.
We have expressed ourselves prior and at Kasane, and we continue to do so, that BOPEU should be stuffed and administered in a progressive sense and that such structuring and re-structuring should strengthen deployment of seasoned and ideologically grounded comrades in the administration. And we must not feel bad when our detractors lament about our cadre deployment. Performance of the deployed should not just be a matter of score card, but should be more of a matter of ideologically understanding the task of the BOPEU as a union founded to liberate the workers. And Comrade Mogwera does not fit this description, and her tendency of keeping BOPEU in courts when the workers and members of BOPEU are not receiving services is contrary to what we stand for as a trade union.
Comrade Mogwera serves as a good lesson that deployment must be done with the precast original BOPEU traditions. It is for this reason that, without our own organic intellectuals who are ideologically grounded, our Comrades will inevitably be corrupted by capitalist intends. A simple example is how Comrade Mogwera is hell bent on holding onto our investment wing, Babereki Investment despite what appears to be a clear consensus from the newly elected leadership that she has been nothing but a foundation of problems and chaos at Babereki Investments. Her personalised decision making processes have yielded nothing else but numerous and unending court cases. Since she took over the pedals at BOPEU, Comrade Mogwera has done nothing but to undermine the very precepts of the organisation. She rather only focused on securing her secondment and her economic benefits. Her leadership style at Babereki Investments, which has been the most humiliating mess this organisation has had to experience, is bringing BOPEU down to its knees for the first time since formation. With all due respect, Comrade Masego Mogwera must let go.
Cde. Lefoko Folks Dithebe