Aubrey Tshabalala (centre). Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Aubrey Tshabalala (centre). Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

THE Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Thursday became the second Cosatu-affiliate to come out publicly and say it is time for President Jacob Zuma to vacate office.

"We can confirm that this is a debate that we are currently having in all our structures and the most echoing sentiments are that indeed the president has played his role and now it is time that he vacates Mahlambandlovu," general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said.

"Whether his term has seen an advancement of our historic mission or represents a regress of that perspective is a view that we will communicate publicly once all our structures have had an opportunity to engage on this bone of contention."

Earlier this month, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), once Zuma’s strongest labour movement ally, also called on him to resign.

Nehawu said the situation in the country had become untenable. It wants Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over immediately and succeed Zuma as party president at the ANC’s next conference in 2017.

Cosatu’s central executive committee meeting starts on Monday. The federation’s stance about whether Zuma should complete his term and whether it should come out and endorse Ramaphosa to take over in 2017 is likely to be discussed at the meeting.

Tshabalala on Thursday said the "facts are glaring" that the alliance and country was limping from one crisis to another.

"It makes it difficult for any of our revolutionary-motive forces to focus on real issues such as triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty.

He said the prevailing conditions dictated that the unions should not make pronouncements for the sake of it.

"It is also our firm ideological standpoint that when workers choose or pronounce on the leadership preferences, this process should be guided by their class interests as that should supercede any form of a so-called, tradition or culture," he said.

"But whoever we will rally behind must be cautious of the fact that we have run out of patience with empty promises because the reality is that we have lost substantially in a number of companies we are organising in."

Please sign in or register to comment.