COSATU can learn from Corbyn to avoid slipping into irrelevance

8th Dec 2015 Terry Bell 0

“The ANC came before democracy.” This statement by President Jacob Zuma was obviously incorrect since the concept of democracy pre-dated the formation of the ANC in 1912 by about 2,500 years.
It came to us from the ancient Greeks who also provided the term, taken from demos (people) and kratos (power). However Zuma did go on to explain that he meant his comment to apply to South Africa where the first non-racial parliamentary elections were staged 82 years after the birth of what became the ANC.
This, along with comments made at last week’s Cosatu congress, put the whole question of what democracy means into focus. At the same time, the media was again accused of misleading the voting public and so undermining both the ANC and its trade union partner.
But does universal adult suffrage — votes for all to a parliament — equal democracy? And is the media really able, to a large degree, to manipulate public opinion and, therefore, harm the trade union movement and the country?