Zuma wants a meeting with Cosatu after calls for him to step down

2017-04-04 14:26
Cosatu. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24, file)

Cosatu. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24, file)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has called the leadership of Cosatu for a meeting to discuss, among other things, the union's call for him to step down.

Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini told journalists that Zuma had called him on Tuesday asking for a meeting with Cosatu leaders.

He said while he appreciated the importance of the call he had hoped that Zuma would have called on Thursday afternoon to consult with Cosatu before he announced his Cabinet reshuffle.

Cosatu was briefing the media after its central executive committee (CEC) meeting on Monday.

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On the agenda was the Cabinet reshuffle, the economic downgrade by Standard & Poor's, as well as calls for Zuma to resign, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said.

Ntshalintshali said the federation movement's CEC meeting resolved to call for Zuma to step down. He cited the Gupta family's influence in the Presidency, the Constitutional Court judgment which found that Zuma had flouted the Constitution and his subsequent apology as reasons for Zuma to step down.

"The time has arrived for him to step down and allow the country to be led forward by a new collective at the government level. We no longer believe in his leadership abilities..." Ntshalintshali said.

READ: Cosatu calls on Zuma to step down

Hopes shattered

Cosatu said the latest Cabinet reshuffle reflected the re-emergence of undemocratic practices which were used during the run-up to the Polokwane conference under former president Thabo Mbeki.

"In particular, the use of state institutions and the SABC in factional battles [and] failure to consult ANC members and the alliance partners."

Cosatu said its hopes that Zuma would usher in a new era of democratic consultation have been shattered.

The federation movement was for the first time not consulted on the Cabinet reshuffle. Ntshalintshali said it noted that some in the ANC's top six had also been left in the dark.

"While we hear and understand the frustrations of some members of the ANC top six, we hope they have a renewed appreciation of the concept of a meaningful consultation now that they have experienced it themselves," he said.

He however said Cosatu was still committed to the alliance. Cosatu said it was calling for a reconfigured alliance which was at the "centre of driving national democratic revolution".

'We will never march with DA'

The trade union federation's general secretary slammed the Democratic Alliance, adding that Cosatu does not support a regime change agenda that wants to topple the African National Congress.

"We will never march with the DA and its friends. The only march we will join led by the DA will be if they are going to Cape Town to call for Helen Zille to resign."

The DA will be marching in Johannesburg CBD to call for Zuma to step down. The reshuffle that saw Pravin Gordhan fired as the finance minister has plunged the party into a new crisis, with senior leaders openly differing over the decision.

The fallout of the reshuffle led Standard & Poor's to announce a downgrade of South Africa's economy to junk status.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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