President Jacob Zuma with Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Dlamini has been given an ultimatum to take the union federation’s resolutions seriously, or an alternative leader will be elected to head the organisation. Picture: SOWETAN
President Jacob Zuma with Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Dlamini has been given an ultimatum to take the union federation’s resolutions seriously, or an alternative leader will be elected to head the organisation. Picture: SOWETAN

Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini has been given an ultimatum to either stand firm and take the union federation’s resolutions seriously, or an alternative leader will be elected to head the organisation.

This stern warning comes from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) health and safety national chairperson‚ Peter Bailey‚ who was making the NUM’s declaration at Cosatu’s closing session of its 6th central committee meeting, at St Georges Hotel in Pretoria on Thursday.

"I want to say to the presidency [Dlamini]‚ you seem to be found wanting in articulating the decision of the federation and if you are going to behave in that manner‚ you are not assisting in uniting the federation. Now I want to make a humble plea with you‚ now that the central committee has reaffirmed the mandate‚ president of the federation‚ lead that process.

"Lead [us] because you have almost 2-million workers behind you who have taken that decision. We don’t expect the secretariat to articulate that view. The secretariat gives you an overview and the political heads take and articulate the view and advance it unapologetically so‚" said Bailey‚ to a round of applause from the delegates.

These remarks follow Dlamini’s decision not to state the federation’s stance on who should succeed President Jacob Zuma in December during his opening address on Monday. This prompting Cosatu’s first deputy president‚ Tyotyo James‚ to take to the podium and unapologetically affirm the federation’s posture that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should take over the reins of the ANC and the country, in an attempt to save the movement.

He advised Dlamini to speak out and inform Cosatu’s affiliates if he could not lead the call for Ramaphosa to take over the reins. Otherwise, they would be left with no choice but to look for an "alternative" leader to articulate that call.

Bailey told Dlamini‚ who was sitting on the stage with the leadership of Cosatu‚ that people were gossiping about him‚ including that a vote of no confidence against him was on the agenda of the meeting‚ but NUM did not support that. He pleaded with Dlamini to play his role as the president of Cosatu.

The Gauteng chairperson of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa)‚ Simphiwe Gada‚ also echoed its counterpart’s stance‚ requesting Dlamini to be more vociferous in driving Ramaphosa’s election as president of the ANC.

"We are saying to comrade S’dumo I think you understand that when we say Cosatu wants Cyril‚ we want Cyril and you must champion that call. We want to reaffirm that we are fully behind yourselves as LOBs (local office-bearers), and therefore president S’dumo‚ you have been mandated to champion the agenda of comrade Jacob Zuma when he came in [as president of the country in 2009]‚ Cosatu was fully behind him and you championed that programme with confidence and you made sure that that mandate was realised by workers.

"Now we are going to appeal that you do the same thing‚ the same energy that was employed in making sure that President Zuma becomes president‚ must be the same energy that is employed that Cyril becomes president‚" said Gada.

Dlamini recently came under fire from the union after he attended Zuma’s 75th birthday celebration in Kliptown‚ Soweto‚ where he sang and danced with Zuma before giving him a heartfelt message from "workers".

During Cosatu’s May Day celebrations last month‚ Zuma was booed and heckled at a rally in Bloemfontein and prevented from addressing workers.

TMG Digital

Please login or register to comment.