Pledge to back Zuma 'beyond' Mangaung
COSATU president Sdumo Dlamini has publicly endorsed the re-election of President Jacob Zuma for another term.
Dlamini, who was flanked by Zuma and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, told workers at a May Day Rally in Botshabelo, Free State, yesterday that the labour federation would work with the current ANC leadership going to Mangaung and beyond.
Head of police intelligence Richard Mdluli also attended the rally.
He was flanked by uniformed police officers, constantly on his cellphone and kept retreating behind glass doors in the VIP area.
Dlamini said Cosatu's position leading to Polokwane in 2007 had not changed and the labour federation was still pleased with the current ANC leadership.
"Leading to Polokwane we said, as Cosatu, we needed a certain character of leadership and we said we would support that leadership.
"We will work with that leadership as we go to Mangaung and beyond. There is nothing that has changed from the position we took leading to Polokwane. We still stand at that position and nobody must be confused," Dlamini said.
His comments come a few days after Cosatu's highest decision-making body, the central executive committee (CEC), publicly stated that it would not endorse any ANC leader like it did in 2007.
But Dlamini's pledge to support Zuma "beyond" Mangaung appears to be an outright endorsement.
The ruling party is to hold its elective conference in December and Zuma is seeking to be re-elected for a second term.
After Cosatu's CEC meeting, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi made it clear the labour federation would not endorse any individual for leadership positions in the ANC.
"Cosatu will not be won over into any faction this time around, because that's now the binding policy on all of our leaders; you will not endorse any person unless it is the decision of the CEC," Vavi said in the presence of Dlamini after the meeting.
On Gauteng e-tolling and labour brokering, Dlamini said Cosatu would not take the ANC to court over the e-tolling system as the ruling party was willing to listen.
He said the ANC and Cosatu were also on the verge of finding common ground on labour brokers.
"We are busy looking for the best formulation [and] proper wording other than saying we are banning or regulating labour brokers," Dlamini said.
"How best we can achieve total ban without using the word ban."
Nzimande warned against elevating provincial challenges to national level.
He said while the Gauteng e-tolling system was an issue "we should look at the challenge of infrastructure nationally and challenges we face in Gauteng should not be a task of Cosatu nationally".
The rally, which was billed as the main event, was poorly attended by about 900 workers.
Zuma, who was the main speaker, avoided party politics but focused on narrating the historical victories of workers worldwide.
He touched on the origin of the day in Chicago in 1886 where striking workers were shot and killed.
"Many people who have the power might think they can suppress the workers," Zuma said.
He appealed to workers to appreciate the sacrifices that were made by workers before them.