Zuma singing and dancing his way to jail - Numsa

2016-12-12 18:15
Andrew Chirwa

Andrew Chirwa

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Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma is merely a "loose criminal" who is singing and dancing his way to jail, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's (Numsa) president Andrew Chirwa said on Monday.

Referring to Zuma as a reckless man who continued to pose a threat to the economy, Chirwa said the country's president "had corruption you could smell and sense from miles away". 

"Zuma is a criminal, he is just a free criminal. He is a loose criminal who is singing 'Yinde lendlela' because yes, the road is [long], all the way to prison," he said, speaking at Numsa's 10th national congress in Cape Town

He was no different to convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius, Chirwa said.

But he was also no different from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, he said.

Chirwa told the gathered delegates that Cosatu had done them a favour by expelling them from the federation. 

This gave them a chance to advance a revolutionary cause without any constraints, he said. 

R3 500 'pocket money' for Ramaphosa's children

He said Cosatu had lost touch with reality by punting Ramaphosa as the next president.

This was the same man, he said, who believed R3 500 was enough for workers.

"This is pocket money for his children," he said.

The union would declare the R3 500 suggested national minimum wage an insult, he said.

Chirwa said the working class was in trouble.

He said this was why they flocked to false pastors who fed them insecticides and detergents, he said. They were constantly looking for hope.

This is Numsa's first congress since it was expelled from Cosatu.

Cosatu expelled Numsa, the federation's largest affiliate, in 2014, a decision made by its central executive committee. 

The federation also expelled its former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who has since put together a new federation.

But the federation will only be officially launched in May 2017. It has about 50 unions. 

Frustrated working class

It was the first time they were sitting in congress, Chirwa said, since they were removed "by the gangsters who would have hijacked the movement".

They were not going to mourn their dismissal from the federation and their replacement with a "fish and chips union", he said.

The working class were frustrated, Chirwa said.

The national congress was attended by 1 077 voting delegates representing 346 870 members.

Chirwa questioned the lack of advancement in the redistribution of land, which was a struggle they were serious about, he said.

"We will fight for our land, through whatever means," he said.

There was no dignity for black and African people in the country 22 years after democracy, which was a form of betrayal, he said.

AfriForum was quiet when their members put a black man in a coffin, Chirwa said.

"They are quiet when their racist members beat up and abuse our members in their farms. The struggle against racism for us is in totality with the struggle against oppression and we will not be apologetic about that," he said. 

He also questioned the motives of the newly formed Save South Africa group, calling them right-winged voices. 

Read more on:    numsa  |  andrew chirwa  |  politics

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