Cosatu reaffirms support for Zuma

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Thursday unanimously reaffirmed its unequivocal support for embattled former South African deputy president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma—still African National Congress deputy president—has been charged by the National Prosecuting Authority with corruption, and allegations of rape have been made against him.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg on Thursday, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the union federation’s central executive committee (CEC) has noted the ANC national executive committee (NEC) statement issued over the weekend.

“The ANC general secretary briefed the CEC on the discussions of the ANC NEC. We regard the NEC discussion and pronouncement as progress, particularly the fact that the ANC at last is taking political responsibility to provide leadership.”

Asked whether Cosatu agrees with the ANC NEC’s statement that there is no political conspiracy to prevent Zuma from becoming the ANC president, Vavi said that although the ANC and Cosatu are in a tripartite alliance, together they remain independent.

“That is the ANC’s view on the matter and Cosatu holds a different view. That is why Cosatu is calling for a 10-a-side meeting to ensure that a full summit is held involving provincial representatives, so that the matter can be debated,” Vavi added.

Cosatu said it has noted the media coverage regarding the rape allegations against Zuma.

“Until the matter has been formally brought before the courts, speculation will ensue and this is not fair to the alleged victim and perpetrator.
For that reason, everything possible should be done to get to the bottom of these allegations as soon as possible.”

The union federation reaffirmed that it is against the abuse of women “from whatever quarter”.

Cosatu added that it will issue further comment on the Zuma rape allegations when the matter goes to court.

“We would not engage on the matter in public until the it has gone to court,” Vavi said.—I-Net Bridge

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