Cosatu slams government corruption
Johannesburg - Leaders of Cosatu, an ally of the African National Congress, lashed out on Saturday against government corruption as a major threat to good governance.
"Cosatu's two past congresses have said that we will not give the ANC a blank cheque and will refuse to campaign or support candidates known to be corrupt or lazy," said Sidumo Dlamini, president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
Dlamini was addressing thousands of workers gathered at a Johannesburg stadium to mark the federation's 25th anniversary.
While applauding government moves to set up a special anti-corruption unit to probe senior officials involved in corruption or shady business deals with the state, Dlamini warned they would be futile if those found guilty were not prosecuted.
"All these promises will turn out to be hollow if those involved in the biggest of all the corruption scandals - the arms deal - are not investigated," he said.
Questions over an arms procurement deal have clouded the political landscape for more than a decade in South Africa.
Union criticism of the ANC has been a source of tension within the alliance, with suggestions that Cosatu might withdraw from the partnership.
Workers from all over the country, clad in red t-shirts, Cosatu's trademark colour, sang and chanted slogans, some waving flags of the ruling party.
Dlamini also complained at the inequalities still suffered by black people in society and the workplace, 16 years after the end of apartheid.
About 48% of South Africans live on less than R322 a month, while 25% survive on grants, he said.
"An average black man earns R2 400 a month, whilst an average white man earns R19 000."