Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma remains silent while the African National Congress (ANC) is disintegrating under his watch, the National Union of Healthy and Allied Workers's Union (Nehawu) said on Thursday.
"We expect the President to stand up as a leader and say this is too much ... this has to stop. We expect him to say not in my name, but his silence says a lot," Nehawu deputy secretary Zola Saphetha told reporters in Johannesburg, following the union's executive committee meeting.
The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) affiliate last month and called on Zuma to step down, citing infighting in the ANC, a series of scandals and rampant corruption as reasons he should resign.
Cosatu and the South African Communist Party are in a tripartite alliance with the ruling ANC. However, attempts by a few Cabinet ministers to have Zuma removed was thwarted at an ANC NEC meeting last week.
The NEC said it did not support the move, and that Zuma would remain at the helm. Saphetha said leadership meant playing a role and taking a stand, but Zuma wasn't doing what was expected from him as a leader.
"We think that when difficulties arise, a leader needs to rise to the occasion. Many wrong things are happening within the movement but are ignored ... the movement is disintegrating under the president's watch," he said.
The union said it supported Cosatu's preference of Zuma's deputy Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next President, but added that Ramaphosa should immediately take over and lead the party to its national elective conference in December 2017, where new leaders would be elected.
"We maintain that the best way forward is for the ANC leadership to develop a unifying roadmap towards the 54th national conference and with comrade Cyril Ramaphosa steering the transition to an overwhelming victory in the 2019 general elections," said secretary Bereng Soke.
He said Ramaphosa taking over from Zuma would be a major starting point in unifying the ruling party and turning the tide against factionalism.
The long journey to the renewal of Africa's oldest liberation movement should start at the ANC policy conference to be held next year, said Soke.
African News Agency