According to a report in the Daily Maverick today the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) is in ‘crisis as ordinary members rebel against national office bearers they accuse of gross financial mismanagement and undermining their constitution. The officials have struck back with a purge of members who’ve asked difficult questions. The case heads to court on Monday’.

Go to ‘Authoritarianism for Beginners’: The crisis of leadership in Samwu and the union movement by Dale T. McKinley first published today in the Daily Maverick.

Brief extracts

All of this has been playing itself out right in front of our eyes for some time within much of the union movement. Tragically though, the propaganda model employed has, to a large extent, succeeded in obscuring and deflecting the concomitant realities in a self-serving shroud of political and organisational mysticism. However, the ongoing and escalating crisis within Samwu has now more fully exposed the hidden cancer that is eating away at the union body politic.

The sparks that set off the present fire in Samwu are as simple as they are telling. The source, in each case, has been the union’s NOBs riding roughshod over the mandates and decisions of constitutional structures.