'ANC IN DISARRAY': S’dumo Dlamini addresses Cosatu members.
'ANC IN DISARRAY': S’dumo Dlamini addresses Cosatu members.

Pro-Zuma S'dumo comes out relatively unscathed

By Tebogo Monama and Khaya Koko Time of article published May 30, 2017

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COSATU president S’dumo Dlamini yesterday survived relatively unscathed at the opening of the federation's central committee meeting in Irene, outside Pretoria.

Some Cosatu affiliates were unhappy that Dlamini had attended President Jacob Zuma’s 75th birthday party despite a decision by the federation that Zuma should step down.

Cosatu’s biggest affiliate, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, was planning to push for a motion of no confidence in Dlamini.

But the Cosatu president spoke without any interference when opening yesterday's meeting.

Some officials of the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and the Communication Workers Union said there were fears that removing Dlamini would divide the federation. The biggest fight, they said, should be directed at President Jacob Zuma.

A provincial chairperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Star he didn’t expect any members to raise the issue of Dlamini attending Zuma’s 75th birthday party in Soweto at the meeting, saying members would be called to order if the issue was raised.

Addressing the audience, Dlamini said leaders should apologise for wrongdoing.

He apologised for attending Zuma’s party at a special meeting of the federation's central executive committee.

But after lunch, when he announced that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would not be able to attend yesterday’s session, Sadtu’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary Nomarashiya Caluza slammed Dlamini for not speaking about Cosatu’s support for Ramaphosa in his main speech.

“We are not ashamed of this decision (to back Ramaphosa). As the leadership, you must pronounce strongly so that members are not confused.”

Caluza also responded to Dlamini’s apology.

“Apologies must not be generic. If you say we need to unite, the president must practically unite us around the decisions of Cosatu.”

In his speech, Dlamini also called for unity in the tripartite alliance.

“The task is to build a strong alliance How do we realise this task if the leader of the alliance (ANC) is in a state of disarray? How do we deal with that?

“At this stage it's difficult. But we have a responsibility as workers. The ANC cannot survive without the country's workers.

"And we have a duty to call the ANC to order where things are not right,” he added.

Instead of the infighting, the alliance should unite to fight for survival, he added.

Dlamini said the policy conference next month would be used to deal with sorting out issues in the alliance.

“We have to talk about how to reconfigure the alliance. Decisions cannot be taken by just one party. This must stop,” Dlamini said.

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