Cosatu's biggest affiliate wants Ramaphosa for president

2015-11-25 07:16
Cyril Ramaphosa. (GCIS)

Cyril Ramaphosa. (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - Cosatu's biggest affiliate, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu), has supported the proposal that the trade union federation endorse Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC's next president.

Nehawu, along with the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), the SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) and the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu), agreed with the proposal raised from the floor at Cosatu's national congress in Midrand, Johannesburg.

"We can't keep quiet when every sign is there that we have been taken back to the era of 2007 before Polokwane," Nehawu's first deputy president Michael Shingange told delegates.

"We cannot keep quiet when there is a threat to stability in our movement and once again we [are] about to be revisited by the painful journey we went through from 2005 up until 2007."

He received cheers from delegates.

'We should be led by principle'

Earlier, without mentioning any names, the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) said it was a matter of principle that the deputy president eventually became president.

"We said when we went to Mangaung [in 2012] that we elected a deputy president, we had faith in that deputy president... because if we did not we would not have given him that serious responsibility," Sadtu deputy general secretary Nkosana Dolopi said.

"So why the doubt now if we are principled people? So, we are saying we should be led all the time by principle."

Shortly after, Denosa supported the call.

Some unions, although not rejecting the proposal outright, said it was too early to start the ANC's 2017 succession debate.

There is said to be a strong lobby group within the ANC which does not want Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as president of the ANC and eventually the country.

The group has been dubbed the "premier league" and is said to include North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Free State Premier Ace Magashule and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. The three are also the ANC chairpersons in their respective provinces.

Resolutions to be finalised on Wednesday

Their plan is allegedly to entrench themselves as leaders or kingmakers for 2017 when Zuma's successor will be elected.

It is believed the group wants Dlamini-Zuma to lead the ANC and to block Ramaphosa from taking over.

The ANC has warned its members not to start discussing succession.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union said it was not healthy to do so.

The National Union of Mineworkers did not directly back the call that the deputy president become president, but said ANC traditions on leadership should be respected.

The Food and Allied Workers Union said it agreed that it was tradition that the deputy president become president, but not a principle.

However, it would not yet pronounce on whether it would endorse Ramaphosa for the position of president.

The Cosatu congress is expected to finalise its resolutions on Wednesday. It is still unclear what resolution will be taken on Sadtu's proposal.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  nehawu  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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