South African trade union bans Jacob Zuma from attending its meetings

South African trade union bans Jacob Zuma from attending its meetings

"The meeting resolved that going forward, in respect of the mandate from the workers and in line with our resolution for him to step down, President Jacob Zuma will no longer be welcomed to address Cosatu activities". The union has made a decision to bar President Jacob Zuma from addressing its events.

"Cosatu's voice in the tripartite alliance is still important because of the political muscle they still have as a functioning organisation", Bezuidenhout said.

Cosatu was pivotal in Zuma's election as ANC leader at the party's elective conference in Polokwane in 2007.

The federation has also publicly endorsed Zuma's deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to take over as head of the party and as president of the country.

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Business Day reported on Tuesday that the federation's central committee had decided on Monday to inform the African National Congress (ANC) of its decision. Cosatu's biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa), was expelled in 2014 and general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was axed the next year. "We do not believe president Zuma is fit to lead the movement", said Ntshalintshali.

The ANC elaborated that, as it "has not received any formal communication in this regard, we [ANC] therefore, won't make any comments until such time there is an engagement with Cosatu".

This according to labour expert Professor Andries Bezuidenhout, who said the strong anti-Zuma sentiment expressed by the SACP and Cosatu especially, is a symbolic issue which will have long term ramifications for Zuma's ANC. "Their leaders would have to hold up a front of unity", Bezuidenhout said.

The ANC, however, said it had not been informed of the federation's decision not to allow Zuma to address its gatherings and would respond in due course.

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