Cosatu leader S’dumo Dlamini breaks his silence and endorses Ramaphosa as next leader of the ANC
Neo Goba | 2017-06-01 17:03:30.0
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image by: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times
Congress of South African Trade Unions president S’dumo Dlamini has for the first time openly endorsed the union federation’ s support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC’s next leader.
He assured the federation and its affiliates that he would be at the forefront of Cosatu’s call for Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma as president of the ANC when the latter steps down in December.
This was after calls from Cosatu affiliates for Dlamini to either back Ramaphosa or back down as the federation’s president.
Speaking at Cosatu’s 6th central committee meeting at Irene‚ Pretoria on Thursday‚ Dlamini broke his silence on the issue and told delegates that every member of the federation including himself‚ would stand firm and heed the union federation’s resolutions.
“The democratic centralism dictates that decisions taken by the constitutional structure‚ binds everyone including if there’s a possibility of people who may have been holding different views. Once a decision has been taken by the structure‚ it is binding to all of sundry within the organisation‚ its binding to me‚” said Dlamini to huge applause.
“When the workers have spoken‚ we all should understand that our responsibility is to implement that particular mandate. I am emphasising this point comrades so that from now on‚ when we stand and pronounce on a decision of the federation‚ now stop looking closer at the screen and say ‘Does that one really mean what he is saying?'” Dlamini added.
Dlamini’s remarks came just hours after the National Union of Mineworkers Health and Safety National chairperson‚ Peter Bailey‚ gave him an ultimatum to either stand firm and take the union federation’s resolutions seriously or else an alternative leader would be elected to head the organisation. Bailey was making NUM’s declaration at the Cosatu closing session.
On the opening day of Cosatu’s central committee meeting on Monday‚ Dlamini was expected to state the federation’s stance on who should succeed President Jacob Zuma in December when his term comes to an end‚ but did not do so.
This prompted Cosatu’s first deputy president‚ Tyotyo James‚ to take to the podium and unapologetically affirm the federation’s posture that Ramaphosa should take over the reins of the African National Congress and country in an attempt to save the movement.
Cosatu’s president reminded delegates that once they pick a “fight”‚ they must be ready to “fight” and they must be sure that they will win the battle. He was making reference to the ANC’s presidential race that is between Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
There are divisions between members of the ANC and its alliance partners on who should take over the reins from Zuma.
Dlamini has been considered to be an ally of Zuma‚ but during a post central committee media briefing‚ he said that their relationship was purely politically-related and nothing more.
During the closing address of the central committee meeting‚ Dlamini again apologised for attending Zuma’s 75th birthday celebration in Kliptown‚ Soweto‚ where he sang and danced with Zuma before giving him a heartfelt message from “workers”.
Dlamini came under fire from the federation’s central executive committee‚ after they took a decision that Zuma should step down.