The Congress of South African Trade Unions warned President Zuma and ANC leaders to stop playing cute with principles that have served the movement and stood the test of time.
COSATU warning follows President Zuma’s insinuation that he wouldn’t be supporting his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ambition to become President.
Mr President at an interview with SABC radio stations, asserted that it’s not his party’s policy for a deputy president to succeed the president.
He stressed that it isn’t ANC tradition for deputies to become presidents saying: “there is no policy (as such). It’s not true that it’s a tradition…It is not a policy and not an accepted tradition… Anyone who is nominated can contest.”
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Noting Zuma’s statement, COSATU warned that the ANC’s political neck is in the hangman’s noose.
While the Congress agreed with Zuma that there is no existing policy on the succession, they expressed that it’s uncool for Mr Zuma to argue against the existence of a practice enabling deputy presidents to succeed the presidents in the ANC, since the unbanning in 1990.
“COSATU would have deeply appreciated it, if the president of the ANC had shared this understanding and wisdom with the nation ten years ago in 2007.
Millions of ANC and Alliance members, including general supporters came out to support him, and ultimately managed to elevate him to his current position using the same argument that it was customary for deputies to succeed the presidents in the ANC.
We find it insincere that he never spoke out then and he never saw anything wrong with that argument at the time.
The federation totally rejects the argument that the fact that Cde O R Tambo, Cde Nelson Mandela, and Cde Thabo Mbeki were replaced by their deputies was an accident of history.”
With the above, COSATU warned that it is very dangerous for ANC leaders to play too cute with the traditions and principles that have united, served the movement and stood the test of time for short term gains and narrow political interest.
Also, the Congress warned the entire leadership of the ANC against the interminable and inconsistent series of arguments that are meant to malign those regarded as opponents in order to glorify others.
“The ANC’s political neck is in the hangman’s noose because of this myopia by those entrusted with leading.
“Unless the movement abandons this unsettling tendency of treating disagreements as warfare, we can forget about achieving the much needed unity and the 2019 elections,” added COSATU.
Thereafter, the Congress rejected attempts to censure its succession debate in the ANC.
“Our alliance is a relationship of equals and if the ANC prides itself of being a leader of the alliance, it needs to learn to listen to and engage with the alliance without characterizing our actions and views as impertinent,” stated the Congress of SA Trade Unions.