Cosatu provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile File picture: Leon Nicholas/Independent Media

Johannesburg – Cosatu in Gauteng has implored the federation’s national leadership to listen to unions wanting President Jacob Zuma barred from addressing workers at the May Day rally in Bloemfontein on Monday.

In a media statement, the ANC confirmed that Zuma will be at the Loch Logan Park in Mangaung, during May Day.

Addressing a media briefing in Joburg on Friday, Cosatu provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said the manner in which the issue had been handled was “very clumsy and unfortunate”.

This after Cosatu’s biggest unions including the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, Communication Workers’ Union, and municipal workers’ union Samwu, disagreed with the central executive committee (CEC) decision that Zuma address workers on Monday. They called on Cosatu to inform the ANC to replace Zuma with his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

Dakile said the labour federation ought to listen to what its members were saying as Cosatu would cease to exist without its affiliates.

“It’s most unfortunate that the matter had been handled very clumsy and should be a lesson taken by national leadership across the federation, that as main decisions are taken, there should also be clarity on the implications and consequences of decisions,” said Dakile.

The Cosatu CEC took a decision in November last year that it no longer had confidence in Zuma and called on him to step down. It consequently endorsed Ramaphosa to take over when Zuma steps down as ANC leader in December.

“I don’t think the federation has been able to think through what are the implications of that particular decision and what does it mean going forward,” said Dakile.

He said Cosatu in the province would march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton on Monday as part of its May Day rally. It will be addressed by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, ANC provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, and SACP’s first deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin.

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Political Bureau