Nehawu denies Zuma second term support
Johannesburg - Nehawu secretary general Fikile Majola denied reports on Monday that he was publicly supporting President Jacob Zuma for a second term as ANC president.
According to the Sowetan newspaper, Majola urged workers at the presidential council of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in Johannesburg on Friday to rally behind Zuma.
"I didn't quite say that. I did say that it's very important for workers not only to have trade union consciousness, but also political consciousness," Majola said.
"If we lose political rights we will lose trade union rights. It was in this context that I said we must support Jacob Zuma."
Supports ANC leadership
Majola said he supported the current leadership of the African National Congress. This was not only his position, but that of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu).
After Cosatu's central committee meeting last year, the trade union federation had said it supported the current leadership of the ANC under Zuma, he said.
"That is our position until we go to Mangaung."
Majola said his comments at the WFTU were not made in the context of the ANC succession debate.
"I didn't say that I'm supporting a second term [for Zuma]. It would be inappropriate to have this [succession] discussion at the moment. We won't pronounce on that because the ANC said we should not do that."
The ANC's elective conference will be held in Mangaung, in the Free State, in December, where it will decide who will lead the ANC for the next five years.
The ANC Youth League is reportedly pushing for Zuma to be replaced by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the elective conference. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is its preferred candidate to take over from Gwede Mantashe as ANC secretary general.