Zuma will attend Cosatu May Day rally - ANC

2017-04-28 15:09
Zizi Kodwa (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

Zizi Kodwa (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma will attend Cosatu's worker's day celebrations in Bloemfontein, the African National Congress said on Friday.

This was despite calls by some Cosatu affiliates that the trade union federation should break with tradition and drop Zuma as its keynote speaker following the federation's call that he step down.

Zuma would be at Loch Logan in Bloemfontein on Monday, May 1.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa would be at Tebukhosi Lodge, Hectorspruit in Mpumalanga, and secretary general Gwede Mantashe at Innesfree park in Sandton, Johannesburg, the ANC said in a statement.

The party, however, did not address calls by Cosatu's biggest affiliate Nehawu, the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), Sadtu, and Cosatu in Gauteng that Zuma should not attend the rally.

Ally

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said Cosatu remained a reliable ally of the ANC to advance the national democratic revolution.

"As we have said before, the unity and cohesion of the ANC and the alliance is a critical prerequisite for the advancement of the NDR, impacting not only on the ability to mobilise and organise the motive forces in transformation, but also on the pace of transformation," Kodwa said.

"This May Day and beyond, the revolutionary alliance must and will continue to spare no effort to address the challenges faced within the alliance and its component parts," Kodwa said.

There had been speculation that Zuma would receive a hostile reception in the Free State. Kodwa said the ANC was confident that May Day will be used with "dignity and respect", to reflect the struggles and victories of the working people 23 years into democracy.

Tensions had heightened within the tripartite alliance, following Zuma's dramatic Cabinet reshuffle on March 30, which he did without consulting SACP, Cosatu, and senior ANC leaders.

In a letter dated April 21, Nehawu wrote to Cosatu's national office bearers asking that Ramaphosa replace Zuma as speaker at the Bloemfontein event.

The CWU echoed this in a subsequent letter to Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. On Friday, Cosatu in Gauteng said Zuma should be barred from attending.

ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize would attend Cosatu's rally in Cape Town, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte would be at the federation's event in Klerksdorp, North West, and national chairperson Baleka Mbete would be Durban.

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

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