Zuma to face ire of SACP, Cosatu at alliance meeting

2017-10-26 08:52
President Jacob Zuma (File)

President Jacob Zuma (File)

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Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma will come face to face with his detractors on Thursday when the political alliance council finally meets at ANC headquarters at Luthuli House.

Relations within the ANC-led alliance are at an all-time low after Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet twice without consulting Cosatu and the SACP.

They have also publicly lashed out at him over state capture, the struggling economy and keeping "deadwood and people laced with corruption and scandals" in his executive.

READ: Fight against state capture cannot be left to next generation – Cosatu

Alliance partners are not expected to hold back. SACP said all major decisions should be on the agenda, including their call, along with Cosatu's, for Zuma to step down or for the ANC to recall him.

"This is the first alliance meeting in 2017, so it must discuss all major developments and decisions taken," SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said.

Tensions heightened last week when Zuma fired SACP leader Blade Nzimande as the higher education minister, which led to the communist party’s fiery statement that Zuma had "declared war against the alliance".

'We can't wait until December'

This ended the 10 year "bromance" with Zuma after SACP and Cosatu campaigned for his ascent to the presidency in 2007.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told News24 that the alliance had collapsed. He said Cosatu has been continuously calling for the council to convene and engage on issues related to that collapse.

"We can’t wait until December to start reconstituting the alliance," he said.

ALSO READ: Nzimande: Zuma is a desperate man

The last scheduled alliance council in August was cancelled minutes before it was planned to get underway. The alliance political council is attended by national office bearers of all three alliance partners.

Zuma could find himself outnumbered, especially after merely informing the ANC top six on changes to his executive.

However, a source said: "Zuma must know that he is not the alliance. He can't make it or break it. It is not about an individual but a collective."

'Zuma marginalised the alliance'

Ntshalintshali told News24 that Cosatu will be demanding answers from Zuma on his recent unilateral decisions.

"I don’t know if Zuma will be talking [to us]. We have to take the collective into account and say how you allow one of you to act in the way that he does. He has marginalised the alliance but even worse, he has done this to the ANC."

Ntshalintshali said Cosatu will also demand that the ANC’s top brass answer for Zuma’s actions. He however admitted that this may be difficult considering that, "they were not consulted themselves".

ALSO READ: Cabinet reshuffle a desperate move by Zuma, says SACP

Cosatu as well as the SACP banned Zuma from speaking at any of its events earlier this year, following the March midnight Cabinet reshuffle that saw Pravin Gordhan removed as finance minister, along with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

Ntshalintshali said the trade union federation was troubled by Nzimande’s axing, adding that intense discussion within the alliance had gone into the decision to deploy him to Parliament.

"He can’t decide to drop Blade without taking consequences of removing [a] leader of [the] alliance in the Cabinet. It's these actions that need accountability," he said.

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Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  cabinet reshuffle  |  anc leadership race

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