KZN Cosatu silent on Zuma

2017-09-28 14:32
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini (left) and SACP chairperson Senzeni Zokwana (right) led thousands of Cosatu members in Durban as part of the nationwide strike against state capture.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini (left) and SACP chairperson Senzeni Zokwana (right) led thousands of Cosatu members in Durban as part of the nationwide strike against state capture. (Sabelo Nsele)

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Many thousands of Cosatu members turned out across the nation on Wednesday to protest against state capture.

Marchers in all centres outside KwaZulu-Natal held posters aloft calling for President Jacob Zuma to go and criticising the Gupta family. However, in Durban no anti-Zuma sentiments were aired.

Marching down the streets of Durban in blistering sun, the protesters stuck to anti-Gupta songs. The controversial family were likened to dogs, with protesters calling for them to leave the country. The main speaker in Durban, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, called for Zuma to immediately establish a commission of inquiry to probe state capture.

He said it should not only investigate the Guptas’ involvement in state capture: “We want to know who is capturing National Treasury, which is the reason it has failed to establish a development bank. That thing is stalling socio-economic transformation,” he said.

Protesters in all other centres used Wednesday’s march to re-affirm their support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma at the ANC’s elective conference in December.

They sang “Ramaphosa will lead”, and “we are ready for Ramaphosa”. Most of them were clad in CR17 T-shirts and caps after the campaign name for the Ramaphosa camp.

Dlamini dismissed talk of a compromise candidate, saying the union will stick with their choice.

“People have been saying to us there are seven other candidates, why we do not want to try them? Our answer is simple, we have made our choice. Our choice is Cyril Ramaphosa. He is the only one that will be able to help us fight corruption.”

The call for Ramaphosa to lead was also echoed by SACP chairperson and cabinet minister Senzeni Zokwana and Sanco NEC member Zanele Hlatshwayo, who is the former Msunduzi mayor.

Dlamini also used the opportunity to fire back at his detractors including Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who he told to mind his business.

The march was also joined by other prominent SACP leaders including former cabinet minister Yunus Carrim, former eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and Sanco NEC member Sthenjwa Nyawose. They handed their memorandum to the Office of the Premier, Department of Labour and the Durban Chamber of Commerce at the Durban City Hall.

Elsewhere around the country, many thousands took to the streets in open protest against Zuma and against corruption. Prominent figures with the ANC-led alliance who took part in Wednesday’s protest included Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, Public Works Deputy Minister Ben Martins and National Assembly deputy speaker Lechesa Tsoneli.

Addressing protesters in Johannesburg, Nzimande said it would be unfair to expect workers to fold their arms while members of the Gupta family and other corrupt businesspeople were “looting the economy”.

“The Guptas are undermining our capacity to fight against monopoly capital. But we’re not going to keep quiet when the ANC is being stolen in broad daylight,” he said.

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