Cosatu’s Sdumo Dlamini backs state capture protest and call for Zuma to step down
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sdumo Dlamini says leaders of the union federation and of the governing tripartite alliance are working to oust him.
Speaking in an interview on Ukhozi FM’s current affairs show on Tuesday evening, Dlamini said some of these individuals were working with the media to drive a wedge between him and the rest of the Cosatu leadership, and that of the tripartite alliance.
His comments came days after reports emerged that Dlamini, who is seen as being close to President Jacob Zuma, did not participate in preparation for Wednesday’s march against state capture.
Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) are to stage mass demonstrations across the country in an attempt to press the authorities to probe allegations of state capture.
According to Dlamini: "There are some within our movement who are hell-bent on driving a wedge between myself and the rest of the leadership of Cosatu.
"They are using journalists to write wrong things about me to facilitate my fall from leading Cosatu. They are alleging many things against me. They are using falsehood to achieve this goal. But they will not succeed."
Dlamini said it was not true he had not participated in preparation for the state capture march. He said he had been on leave for the past few weeks but had come back full steam into Cosatu programmes, including the state capture march.
"I have been deployed in KwaZulu-Natal. I have been here for the past five days. I will be leading a march here in Durban. To say I have not been participating in preparation for the march is part of spreading these falsehoods.
"Cosatu has taken a position that it is against state capture and it wants President Jacob Zuma to step down. I fully agree with these positions. As a result I will be leading a march to spearhead these positions," he said.
Early this year Dlamini stirred the ire of Cosatu members and leaders when he attended Zuma’s birthday and delivered a brief speech in which he said workers were fully behind the president.
Asked what he thought of the proposal by Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, among other premiers, that a neutral candidate — other than Cyril Ramaphosa or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma — be found to succeed Zuma in order to avoid a messy contestation during the elective conference in December, Dlamini said anybody had a democratic right to make suggestions.
"But Cosatu’s central committee met and decided to endorse that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should replace Zuma. That decision has not changed. As for Mabuza’s suggestion, Cosatu has not met to discuss that proposal so we are sticking with a resolution to support the deputy president," he said.