Durban - Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said the ANC’s intention to unite workers in the union federation was not interference but an attempt to empower them.

Dlamini was addressing tens of thousands people who attended a joint Cosatu and SACP march in Durban on Saturday.

The march started at Curries Fountain Stadium and ended at the Gugulethu Park at the Workshop.

Dlamini said it was the ANC that came with a clear message on why workers needed to unite.

Dlamini was responding to rebel union Numsa’s discontent over the ANC’s top six leaders including deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte to diffuse the crisis in Cosatu.

Numsa accused the ANC of creating divisions in Cosatu, saying interference will exacerbate the problems because the ruling party had already taken sides and are not impartial brokers.

Said Dlamini: “We are an organisation that is willing to travel with a party determined to work with us in order to achieve the workers’ objectives.

“We know where we are going and we need a party that knows where it is going. We commend the ANC’s role for working with us in rooting out oppressive laws under which our workers languish.”

SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande said elections caused many people to jump ship and resign from their parties.

He said former ANC youth league leader Julius Malema was a case in point.

Nzimande said that it was a clear indication that electioneering reached its climax when members started defecting.

He said opposition parties have expressed dissatisfaction with President Jacob Zuma’s continued “reign” even after the public protector had made adverse findings over the upgrades in his Nkandla home that was reportedly bankrolled by taxpayers.

Nzimande said the opposition have turned the Nkandla issue into an electioneering slogan because they have run out of ideas to campaign.

He said they do not even have tangible policies on how to govern.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has handed evidence to the Public Works department relating to possible misconduct concerning procurement in the Nkandla project.

“This involves about 15 employees or officials,” spokesman Boy Ndala said.

“It is for the department to institute disciplinary hearings,” he said.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, the cabinet’s justice, crime prevention and security cluster, and the SIU have been probing the security upgrades to Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Last month, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the upgrades.

She recommended that Zuma pay back a portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades.

Earlier this month, in his response to Parliament, Zuma said he would give full and proper consideration to all the matters before him upon receipt of the SIU report.

At the time, Ndala said the SIU’s investigation was still ongoing and would be completed at the end of next month. – Additional reporting by Sapa

Sunday Independent