Front runners don't always win – Cosatu on ANC succession

2017-03-02 19:33
 Bheki Ntshalintshali (File, Netwerk24)

Bheki Ntshalintshali (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – Labour federation Cosatu has reiterated its support for ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over when President Jacob Zuma steps down.

Cosatu held its central executive committee (CEC) this week where it discussed a number of issues, including the ANC's succession debate. The ANC will host an elective conference in December where delegates from branches in the party will vote for new leadership.

"I think there are problems in our movement and a problem within the ANC. They said this thing is not open, don't go out and be campaigning," said Cosatu secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali about former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's numerous visits to churches.

"Those who are disciplined are the ones that are disadvantaged, they would wait and see until the movement is giving them the green light and go on with those issues," he said.

Ntshalintshali also told journalists that just because team "NDZ", as some have dubbed Dlamini-Zuma's campaign, had started its push for the presidency didn't mean that she would come out on top.

"[It is] not always the case that those who are regarded as front runners win. People are not stupid," he continued.

Economic challenges ahead

South Africans are very generous. If you come to their church and ask for a blessing they bless you, they won't say 'no, you are not good'," read Ntshalintshali from a statement by the CEC.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini confirmed that campaigning was taking place on the ground for Ramaphosa to take over the ANC in December.

The trade federation once again committed itself to building the ANC-led alliance but it has also resolved that it needs to retain its right to criticise the implementation of unacceptable policies by the ANC government.

It also said although it felt encouraged by the ANC's pronouncement on radical economic transformation, it was not naive about the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead.

"The same commitments have been made before, only for the movement to flatter to deceive," said Cosatu of the ANC's remarks.

The ANC had no other choice but to push ahead with the radical economic transformation because failure to do so would result in the movement being punished over the economy in 2019, Ntshalintshali said.

Brian Molefe must account

The labour federation also said it wanted all three members of the tripartite alliance, including the SACP, to contribute to the proposed radical economic transformation plan.

"Failure to allow the entire alliance to define the content of the proposed economic transformation will render this another missed opportunity by the movement," read Ntshalintshali.

The CEC expressed disappointment over the manner in which former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was appointed as an ANC member of Parliament.

Molefe was implicated in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, State of Capture, in 2016. He resigned from his position at the power utility amidst media scrutiny over his links to the Gupta family.

"He still needs to account on why he resigned and when he is responding to allegation of corruption during his term as the Eskom CEO," said Ntshalintshali.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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