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Cosatu still wants Zuma to step down

Publish date: 19 April 2017
Issue Number: 183
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Category: General

Cosatu says despite messages of support for President Jacob Zuma, the trade union still wants him to step down. According to an eNCA report, this was after some confusion when, during Zuma’s birthday celebrations last week, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini seemed to backtrack on his earlier calls for Zuma to resign when he told Zuma to remain strong during these trying times. The trade union’s general secretary, Bheki Ntshalitshali, says Dlamini’s attendance at Zuma's birthday was in his capacity as an ANC member adding that Cosatu's president is fully behind the calls to have Zuma removed from office. ‘President Sdumo has not indicated in any way that he doesn't support the CEC statement. He was on the media, on the press conference he spoke about these issues.’ ‘Comrade Sdumo fully understands how the Cosatu took its decision. He was the leader of the meeting, chairing the meeting and is behind the CEC decision, there's no confusion about that,’ Ntshalitshali said. The report says earlier this month Cosatu threw down the gauntlet, calling on Zuma to go.

Full eNCA report

Dlamini remains the ‘odd one’ out among the labour federation’s leadership, and an IoL report quotes political analyst Ralph Mathekga as saying: ‘Clearly, the Cosatu leadership are divided. If they were not, Dlamini would have been very enthusiastic in calling for Zuma to step down. He has been very quiet. As president of the organisation, he would have been very vocal on that. Dlamini has always been a staunch Zuma ally, so he is going to try to push back any Zuma criticism within the organisation, even if the numbers are against him.’ But, the report says, another political analyst, Dumisani Hlophe, said he did not think Dlamini was speaking on behalf of Cosatu at Zuma’s birthday celebrations. ‘I think he has a personal relationship with the president. Look, I think Sdumo’s power within Cosatu is extremely diminished. I think those who do not want the president are the dominant grouping within Cosatu. This is why I’m saying I’m not convinced he was speaking there on behalf of Cosatu.’

Full IoL report

The former general secretary of union federation Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi, has, meanwhile, lashed out at the Guptas‚ likening them to a ‘typical hyena family’, reports Business Day. ‘We have a task to stop a march towards a kleptocratic capitalist order that is going to be governed by the predatory‚’ he said. ‘Leaders that are linked to the first family‚ the typical hyena family. This family eats first‚ and then everyone else follows.’ Vavi spoke during a panel discussion in Tshwane‚ under the theme, Is the post-apartheid state unravelling? He referred to the President’s rhetoric of radical economic transformation as a ‘lie’ and said newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba did not represent any meaningful transformation.

Full Business Day report