POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Cosatu congress to shed light on election stance with ANC
Cosatu is expected to discuss its association with the ANC as well as support for the SACP, writes Bekezela Phakathi
Cosatu’s congress, which starts on Monday, will be the highlight on the political calendar this week.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to deliver the keynote address, which will be keenly followed after reports emerged last week that former president Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule are plotting to oust him.
Cosatu is expected to discuss its association with the ANC ahead of the 2019 elections. It is understood that the trade union federation will support the party in 2019, but it may also decide to throw its weight behind the SA Communist Party (SACP) as it works to build a popular front to potentially contest future elections.
The SACP resolved in 2017 to look into contesting elections on its own from within or outside the alliance.
The ANC will on Monday also hold a national working committee meeting. This will be the first meeting of the committee in charge of the day-to-day running of the party since the reports of the plot to oust Ramaphosa first emerged.
Senior party leaders and ally Cosatu have called on the ANC to investigate the allegations.
On Tuesday, the DA is expected to announce its premier candidate for the Western Cape. This comes amid speculation that DA leader Mmusi Maimane is eyeing the position, a move which has been criticised by some members who say he should focus on leading the party’s bid to grow nationally.
The hearings of the commission looking into state capture continue on Monday. Representatives of banks will give evidence on their closure of Gupta-related bank accounts. The Gupta family has been accused of state capture, wielding undue influence on Zuma and his then cabinet, and milking state-owned enterprises for the benefit of their companies.
In March, the high court in Pretoria dismissed an application by Gupta-linked companies against the Bank of Baroda with costs.
The bank was the last financial institution to continue offering services to the Guptas, after SA’s major banks cut ties with the family following the state capture allegations.
In its ruling, the court said, "the bank’s [Bank of Baroda’s] right to trade or not to trade supersedes whatever right, if any, the applicants might have".
Parliament will be in brief recess from this week, but some committees will continue with their work.
On Thursday and Friday, the joint constitutional review committee will meet to consider the draft report on the possible review of section 25 of the constitution regarding the expropriation of land without compensation.