It was a celebration marking 3 decades of existence but also to clarify what kind of unity the trade unions want in the ANC.
Cosatu’s biggest affiliate has once more called on members and alliance partners to rally behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying the only unity that they must entertain is the one which maintains the ANC tradition of deputy succeeding an outgoing president.
“You see comrades, there are those who are saying there is no such thing as the principle and tradition of the ANC but we know that in 1949 an ANC conference resolved on this matter, that the deputy president must succeed the president,” Cosatu 2nd deputy president Zingiswa Losi said to deafening applause.
Fikile Majola, ex-Nehawu national leader – who is also a member of Parliament – said he was in Cape Town when he heard that Nehawu had called on Zuma to step down and was not shocked because he knew Nehawu members as the children of Bheki Mkhize and Yure Mdyogolo – the union’s founders – “and they were right”.
“And they can’t be wrong. You see, from 2005 when deputy president Jacob Zuma was under siege we stood up to defend him, to defend principle and we said ‘you can’t say when it’s time for the deputy to succeed the president you are gonna use the Scorpion to deal with the succession battles’. We said no. We stood by the principle that the deputy president must become the president.
“We stood by Zuma long time ago when people were not there with him because of principle and today we are right that he must be succeeded by comrade Cyril,” Majola said on Friday at the St Marks International School hall in Mbombela.
Nehawu national leader Zola Saphetha delivered the key note address at the public sector trade union’s 30th anniversary, with Mpumalanga SACP leader Bonakele Majuba, ANC provincial deputy chairwoman Violet Siwela and SANCO PEC member Phakamile Thwala delivering messages of support.
Siwela said as ANC Mpumalanga they want unity and will give it to branches to make pronunciations.
“As the leader of the alliance we must take responsibility. We must account to our masses, not to ourselves,” she said.
Majuba said the unity that is being talked about in the Mpumalanga province was started by Ramaphosa during the provincial Alliance Summit that united him and ANC provincial leader David Mabuza.
“Therefore when we talk unity we must be sure of what we are talking about. Unity is not rhetoric. Unity is to make sure that the people of South Africa are united in order to achieve total liberation.
“In Mpumalanga, when we were divided there was a man who came here and united us in the alliance summit and that man was none other than Cyril Ramaphosa,” Majuba said.
(edited by ZK)
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