Cosatu wants Zuma back as deputy

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called on President Thabo Mbeki to reinstate Jacob Zuma as the deputy president of the country.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called on President Thabo Mbeki to reinstate Jacob Zuma as the deputy president of the country.

The call was in line with resolutions adopted at Cosatu's central executive committee meeting, said Cosatu KwaZulu-Natal secretary Zet Luzipho yesterday.

He was speaking in Durban as hundreds of protesters demanded the withdrawal of criminal charges against Zuma, the president of the ANC.

Luzipho said Zuma was a beacon of hope to the people and pledged Cosatu's support for him.

Speaking on Zuma's pending court case tomorrow, he said: "The rich people are using their influence over state institutions and the fourth estate to barricade Zuma from becoming the next state president.

"South Africa is being subjected to a very strenuous and traumatic process ... and we just hope the judge will put this case to rest ... but we can't say if the national prosecuting authority will not come after him again."

The only way to put an end to "continuous demonstrations", said Luzipho, was for the courts to "put this case to rest".

"We don't want to see a situation in which there are continuous demonstrations," he said. "Cosatu believes that the matter pertaining to Zuma was of an economic nature ... we will explore the possibility of embarking on an indefinite strike after the November 28 and 29 stayaway until the matter is brought to finality. Enough is enough."

The union federation also warned that people's patience should not be tested.

Luzipho said Cosatu was also worried because several death threats had been levelled at their members in Ulundi.

He said the federation had evidence, including letters, to back up its claim. The police had been alerted to the threats and given the evidence.

"We take these threats seriously as they are being made in the wake of the discovery of arms at Nquthu. Equally, we note the correlation between these threats and the training of mercenaries at the Mlaba camp." - Sapa

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