SACP: Zuma surrounded by 'wrong people'

The public sector strike turned ugly because President Jacob Zuma was surrounded by people who failed to advise him correctly, the South African Communist Party (SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal said on Wednesday.

“The strike has gone ugly because the president is sitting with wrong people. He is surrounded by people who don’t advise him correctly and that make his office vulnerable,” said SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu.

He was speaking during the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) general council in Durban on Wednesday afternoon.

Mthembu said if Zuma had good advisers, they could have advised him that the strike would be nasty because workers’ pockets had been hit by the recession.

“Zuma should have been advised that there was a need to handle wage negotiations professionally,” said Mthembu.

He described Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi as a bad negotiator who caused militancy among striking workers.

“Baloyi is a bad negotiator. The way he has handled the strike and negotiations was like he was watching the Olympics,” said Mthembu.

He called for the speedy resolution of the wage dispute.

“Sadly, for now, it seems that the cowboys are in charge.”—Sapa

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