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Zuma's position now 'untenable' and he must resign: Nehawu

By Natasha Marrian | 2016-11-01 15:55:50.0

The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has called on President Jacob Zuma to resign.

Nehawu Cosatu’s largest and among its most influential affiliates – and comes amidst growing opposition to Zuma within the ANC and the alliance.

Most Cosatu affiliates made it clear that Zuma must step down at a central executive committee meeting after the 2016 local elections in which it assessed the causes of the party’s eight percentage point decline.

However‚ the discussion was held behind closed doors and was not made public – Nehawu is the first Cosatu union to publicly call on Zuma to resign.

In a statement after a meeting of its national executive committee‚ Nehawu said the situation has now become untenable.

“Whilst we believe that no single individual‚ even as President of the country‚ can be solely responsible for all the socio-economic and political ills in our society and whilst we appreciate that Comrade Jacob Zuma has served our struggle well over the years‚ the organised working class cannot stand idle by and be silent when it is clear that the revolution is taking a disastrous trajectory as it needlessly lurches from crisis to crisis‚” the union said.

“Therefore Nehawu calls on Comrade Jacob Zuma to take the honourable and courageous decision in the interest of the ANC and our people by resigning as the President of South Africa.”

The union wants Zuma out so that by the time the ANC contests the 2019 election‚ he should no longer be state or ANC president.

It also called on the ANC to make a “unifying decision” regarding ANC succession – by ensuring that tradition is upheld and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma.

“We are making this call whilst being painfully conscious of the poisoned climate of factional contestation within the ANC that would make it difficult for the ANC to arrive at a broadly supported solution to the current tragic impasse.

“Nonetheless‚ as Nehawu we expect the ANC and President Jacob Zuma to rise to the occasion in the interests of the ANC and the masses of our people.”

The announcement is likely to place the union on a collision course with Zuma aligned affiliate‚ the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union and with Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini who remains a staunch Zuma supporter despite the shift in attitudes toward the president within the federation. — TMG Digital