Zuma lashes out at unions

2015-03-15 13:15
President Jacob Zuma (File, Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Sapa)

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

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has reportedly lashed out at trade unionists telling them to stick to matters on the shop floor and to stay out of politics.

According to the Sunday Times, this comment could be aimed at the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and at Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Numsa is in the process of forming a political party. It’s general secretary Irvin Jim and Vavi are ardent critics of Zuma.

Zuma reportedly said: “If you are a unionist and become too much of a politician, you don’t know how to deal with factory-floor issues.”

The comments by Zuma were made during his address to mourners at the reburial ceremony of struggle stalwart Moses Kotane in Rustenburg on Saturday. The comments come at a time when an ANC task team led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are probing ways to find a solution to the problems in Cosatu that led to the expulsion of Numsa from the federation last year.

But the newspaper reports that Jim claims Zuma’s comments show the president is involved in sowing division in Cosatu.

Earlier this month Fin24 reported that a forensic report into alleged impropriety in the sale of Cosatu's old head office and purchase of a new one implicates general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, the trade union federation said.

The report, by auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo, which was handed to the central executive committee (CEC), showed that the auditors had not been able to meet Vavi despite their attempts to do so, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.

The report was handed to the committee at its three-day meeting this week.
"The meeting mandated the NOBs [national office bearers] to write a letter to the Cosatu general secretary to meet with the auditors to provide any information which may be required," Ntshalintshali said.

"The special CEC will receive the final report and make a determination on the way forward based on the recommendations in the report."

There were allegations that Vavi's stepdaughter was involved in one of the companies that worked on the head office transaction.

Vavi boycotted this week's CEC. This was after some affiliates announced they would stay away until the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) was reinstated as a Cosatu member.

Numsa was expelled from the trade union federation in November.

Ntshalintshali said Cosatu had been served court papers by Numsa challenging its suspension.

Numsa is allowed to appeal its expulsion at a Cosatu national congress. Ntshalintshali said a special national congress would be held in July.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  jacob zuma  |  zwelenzima vavi

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.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

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.