We all are well aware that the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) has no voting powers in the ANC but let’s not forget that the South African union was instrumental in the election of Zuma at the 2007 and 2012 elective conferences.
In the early hours of today, Cosatu shocked president Jacob Zuma and his loyalists, who have been working to have his ex-spouse Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma succeed him as ANC leader when it announced Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as its preferred candidate.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the federation’s decision to endorse Ramaphosa as President Zuma’s successor in the next year’s elective conference was arrived at during its three-day central executive meeting.
However, the federation’s decision was greeted with mixed feelings and criticism, especially from pro-Zuma camp. They insisted that the federation’s decision was pedalled by some anti-Zuma ANC faction, who also belong to the federation.
Defending its decision, the federation said it believes the ANC, under Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, will be a party that cannot be corrupted.
More so, it added that Ramaphosa got the union’s thumbs up after a lengthy debate because of his meaningful impacts in the union movement, the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the country’s constitution.
Cosatu’s President, Sdumo Dlamini added:
“We want a leader that will unite the movement, (is) comfortable to work with working class leadership, a leader who is not corruptible and doesn’t do corruption.”
The federation says it strongly believes that Ramaphosa is in the position to help and resuscitate the ANC.
“We looked at criteria, but human beings are human beings. We looked to his history, perhaps subjective, but we believe he is in a position to help the ANC… But there is no free lunch; as soon as he goes to power we will talk to him about what to deliver.”
Cosatu’s decision is obviously a blow for President Jacob Zuma and his protectors. Nevertheless, we hope the ANC will have a peaceful elective conference next year.