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Allow me to put into perspective some allegations about SWADNU being an organisation in turmoil and that the current leadership is disrespecting the organisation’s constitution as reported in a weekend publication. 

The organisation is neither in turmoil nor approaching such state in the near future. It only finds itself faced with individuals who are itching to occupy higher positions of leadership. In 1994, Cyril Ramaphosa was elected Secretary General of the ANC and 24 years later, in 2018, he became president of the ANC. I am not saying SWADNU should emulate the ANC, but understanding and allowing the system to nurture you is fundamental. Ramaphosa could not jump from provincial leadership or from leading COSATU and demand to be ANC president.


The union has one but amended constitution, a document the individuals actively participated in its amendment in the 2015 congress. But when these individuals realised that they were not favourites and could not convince nurses in the general council to win votes, they then wanted the un-amended constitution with the hope that they would emerge victorious. The current leadership is legally in office. 

In 2019, they planned everything for the elective congress but the individuals took the union to court, an act that automatically suspended the congress because it was among the prayers they had prayed for. 

In 2020, the leadership again set the elective congress for March but the coronavirus pandemic emerged. When the partial lockdown was eased and gatherings permitted by government, they planned for the congress but again the individuals took the union to court. Until now the matter is still in court. Who are they misleading when they allege that the current NOBs are clinging onto power illegally?

These individuals claim that the organisation did a noble thing by taking government to court demanding PPEs for nurses, but then they somersaulted and wanted to know who gave the leadership the mandate to do that. Who does not know that gatherings were prohibited and the union has a court case and cannot easily call meetings where a majority of nurses would be represented?  Does this imply that the union should not function and get into a state of paralysis because there is COVID-19? I would not expect such mediocre statements from aspiring leaders. 

These individuals should take a ‘chill pill’, relax a bit and watch the president and his NOBs navigate the ship in this turbulent coronavirus conundrum times. Their time will come and it better find them prepared. They should be warned that union issues are never resolved in courts, but in meetings and discussions of ideologies. 

They should not be afraid and avoid such forums to agitate nurses by running to courts. There are no shortcuts in politics. The public sympathy they are trying to get cannot help them because nurses deserve to be led by well nurtured and respectful leaders; comrades with clear ideologies than their primary school children manifesto. Finally, they should be warned of their clandestine meeting(s) with the employer discussing nurses’ issues that that they no mandate over. 


Nurse Juluka

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