He will not steal government money - Cosatu on Ramaphosa

2017-05-01 18:00
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is flanked by ANC provincial deputy chairperson, Violet Siwela and Cosatu first deputy president, James Tyotyo. (Tom Nkosi)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is flanked by ANC provincial deputy chairperson, Violet Siwela and Cosatu first deputy president, James Tyotyo. (Tom Nkosi)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nkomazi - The Congress of South African Trade Unions says that there would be no need for government to build a house for deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa when he becomes president.

In a thinly veiled reference to the R250m that the South African government paid toward the construction of President Jacob Zuma's house at Nkandla, Cosatu's first deputy president, James Tyotyo, reiterated the trade union federation's support for Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma as president of the African National Congress and the country.

"He will not steal government money. Government will not build him a house, because he already has his own house. As Cosatu, we want to repeat it today, we say the president [Zuma] must step down, because on daily basis he commits blunders. His blunders will make us lose the elections in 2019," said Tyotyo.

He was addressing thousands of Cosatu supporters who participated at Mpumalanga Cosatu's May Day rally held at Hectorspruit.

The rally was held at the gates of Umbhaba Estate, where 242 workers were dismissed after participating in a strike for the recognition of their trade union in November 2015.

AS IT HAPPENED: Vavi: Rest in peace, you ANC alliance


Tyotyo said trade union federation has already taken a resolution that Zuma should step down and called on ANC delegates who would be attending the ANC's national conference in December this year to follow suit.

"We as Cosatu said that at the next ANC national conference, delegates should not be confused: 'Here's the deputy president of the ANC [Ramaphosa]. He is the one who is supposed to take over and be the ANC president and consequently the president of the country,'" said Tyotyo.

Ramaphosa delivered his speech amid a heavy downpour, but the marchers stayed on and listened for the entire speech. He narrated the history of May Day in South Africa, and said that the recognition of the day as a holiday was a result of persistent struggle.

"May Day is your day. We fought in the 1980s for the recognition of May Day as a holiday. The then government was adamant. They didn't want the workers to have their own holiday called May Day. They vowed that we would not get it, but today we have it because we defeated them and showed them that workers have the power," he said.

Ramaphosa steered away of the ANC's succession debate and called for unity in the ANC alliance.

"What we need in South Africa is unity because the political situation is not well. The ANC is facing a lot of challenges. We say ANC, SACP, Cosatu and Sanco must unite so that we can bring change in South Africa so that we can have rights and radical economic transformation," he said.

Corruption line

He repeated his now usual line about corruption. He said that those who work in government should be honest people.

"Government must work in the right way: Those in government should not steal money; those in government must work with integrity. Whatever they do, they should put the people first and themselves in the rear. They should not go to work to steal money," he said to loud cheers.

Ramaphosa also promised the marchers that he would engage with the owners of Umbhaba Estate and warn them that their actions were in contravention of the country's labour laws.

Umbhaba Estate managing director, Roy Plath, had previously vowed that the workers who participated in the strike in support of their demand for the recognition of their trade union would not be reinstated because they had been involved in criminal activities during the strike.

"It has to be clear to our company that when people break the law, cause huge damage to the company, and the relationship has [collapsed]… they must go in peace and find another job," said Plath in 2016.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  mbombela  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.