Cape Town – ANC MP’s should have courage and vote for what they know is right during the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, regardless of whether the vote is secret or not, says the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).
In a statement on Saturday, the country’s second largest labour union, representing an estimated 700 000 workers and founded by ousted Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, said they join “millions of angry South Africans” who are demanding Parliament pass the motion of no confidence in Zuma.
ANC MP’s should not “hide behind secrecy” during the vote, the organisation said.
“[Zuma has] turned the whole country into a mafia-style, lawless kleptocracy, in which the rule of law and democratic accountability are dead letters.
“[Zuma] transformed the African National Congress from being the leader of a national liberation struggle into a cringing apologist for a corrupt leadership.”
In the statement, Saftu criticised ANC-alliance partner the South African Communist Party (SACP) for declaring it will defend Zuma during the motion despite telling delegates at its national conference in July that SACP leadership will meet with the ANC to call for Zuma’s resignation.
The call for Zuma’s resignation will be seen as empty rhetoric if SACP members in Parliament vote against the motion of no confidence, Saftu said.
“At a time of such a life-and-death crisis for the people of South Africa, it would be outrageous for ‘communists’ to hide behind the feeble excuse that they were elected on an ANC ticket to justify keeping in power a leader now exposed as a corrupt, greedy crook.”
‘Return to status quo not the answer’
While the Saftu supports calls for Zuma to step down, it said it rejects those marching on Monday and Tuesday who believe South Africa’s problem is isolated to the corruption of government
"They are just marching for a return to ‘the status quo’ and delude themselves that the problems of the Zuma-era will be resolved by a return to ‘normal’ capitalism or ‘business as usual.
"The underlying problems of a monopoly capitalist system, including its inbuilt corruption, and in South Africa its domination by whites, will remain in place."
Saftu also criticised the “misappropriated revolutionary ideas and slogans” such as ‘white monopoly capitalism’.
“[The phrases have been] turned into empty, demagogic phrase-mongering to try to sound radical, when in practice they are implementing exactly the opposite policies, thus making it harder for genuine revolutionaries to re-legitimise these genuine and relevant ideas.
“The solution [for South Africa] lies in the very slogan hijacked by the corruptors - ‘radical economic transformation’, but it needs to be changed to ‘socialist economic transformation’ if we are to really transform the economy.”
Socialist economic transformation is the nationalisation of mines, banks and other monopolies for citizen gain, Saftu said.
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