S'dumo Dlamini said there had been concerted efforts by the media to turn Cosatu leaders against each other. File picture: Matthews Baloyi
Johannesburg - Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini has reacted with anger to efforts he says are meant to pit leaders of the trade union federation against each other.

Dlamini on Sunday said he knew of no plans by Cosatu to embark on a national shutdown aimed at compelling President Jacob Zuma to step down, as stated in an online report by a Sunday paper.

“Who said anything about a national shutdown? I know nothing of that sort. Whoever said it, you must go back to that person and ask him about it,” Dlamini said.

He added that there had been concerted efforts by the media to turn Cosatu leaders against each other. “As Cosatu, we’ve had various discussions on the crisis facing the country. One of the declarations we’ve made is to tackle socio-economic issues and protest against what we think is not right,” he said.

According to the online report, the build-up to the alleged national shutdown of the economy over state capture and corruption was set in motion by Cosatu after it submitted a strike notice to Nedlac.

The report quoted Cosatu deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe as saying the strike was expected to take place before the end of August and that Cosatu had the right to call for Zuma to stand aside.

But Dlamini, who three months ago was heavily criticised for attending Zuma’s 75th birthday celebrations in Soweto, refused to elaborate on details about Cosatu’s plan of action in dealing with the state capture reports, saying he didn’t want to talk about the issue further.

Photoe was on Sunday unavailable to comment on the "planned protests". He however said this past weekend that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the only person who could lead the ANC.

Phetoe also acknowledged that the ANC and its alliance partners, Cosatu and the SACP, were divided over Zuma’s leadership, but said that before the national policy conference, which starts on Friday, it was vital for the movement to unite.

He also said that as members of the ruling party prepared to deliberate on policies, those calling for radical economic transformation had to state clearly how they were going to create jobs.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa did not reply to requests for comment.

Political Bureau