It's President Ramaphosa and nothing else - Cosatu

2017-08-31 18:11
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali (Netwerk24)

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Cosatu has rejected talks of a "Plan B" in case Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa loses the top spot in the ANC December elective conference.

The federation has already endorsed Ramaphosa, who is expected to face-off with NEC member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the presidency of the governing party.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the central executive committee made it clear that the federation does not have a plan B or C on this matter.

"We are supporting comrade Cyril Ramaphosa with the intention to ensure that he is elected as president of the ANC in December and of South Africa in 2019," said Ntshalintshali.

The Cosatu leadership was addressing the media on Thursday following the federation's CEC meeting that ended on Wednesday.

Some of the leaders were wearing Ramaphosa campaign T-shirts, on them printed "CR17".

There has been a behind-the-scene talk of a Plan B within the tripartite alliance, including inside the ANC.

Contesting elections 

The alternative plan includes SACP contesting the 2019 general elections independently or a new political front being formed if Ramaphosa loses the presidential race to replace Jacob Zuma.

"We reject any talks of a plan B because we support this campaign with the intention to see him win and not lose," Ntshalintshali said.

Also read: 'We can't lose this one' - Cosatu on backing Ramaphosa for ANC president

Cosatu has deferred a decision on supporting SACP’s resolution to contest the elections amidst fears within the federation that it could further divide the fractured federation.

News24 understands that the CEC meeting had a long and exhaustive discussion on the SACP’s July resolution to contest state power.

Affiliate leaders warned that Cosatu is still battling to rebuild after Numsa and its former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi were kicked out in 2015.

Ntshalintshali said federation members have been encouraged to start discussing the issue, but a final decision will only be taken at its congress in 2018.

Despite the SACP resolution dating back to 2007, SACP has never contested elections independently and has instead campaigned with Cosatu for their alliance partner, the ANC.

However, the alliance's relations are at an all time low since SACP and Cosatu called for Zuma to step down.

Zuma banned

They have also banned him from speaking at their events following the midnight Cabinet reshuffle in March.

They are also demanding a reconfiguration of the alliance that has been dominated by the ANC.

Scheduled meetings of the alliance's political council and separate bilaterals with Cosatu and SACP have been cancelled by the ANC.

Cosatu’s second deputy president Zingiswa Losi said backing the SACP has implications for the long standing alliance.

She added that many of the members hold dual membership in ANC and SACP. Ntshalintshali said that some Cosatu members were not politically aligned.

"So those members are not going to be dividing themselves. They have to decide what politics in the future look like and what decision they take in that particular regard," Ntshalintshali said.

The federation has no voting powers in the ANC elective conference but was instrumental in helping Zuma defeat former president Thabo Mbeki in the ANC presidency in 2007.

Ntshalintshali said they will meet with SACP.

Also read: Cosatu to strike against state capture, corruption

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  nkosa­zana dlamini-zuma  |  bheki ntshalintshali

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