Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini on Tuesday issued deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa with a laundry list of demands‚ should he become the country’s next leader.
Dlamini‚ who earlier ran into trouble for his perceived support of President Jacob Zuma‚ reiterated the federation’s stance that Ramaphosa should be the next leader of the ANC.
The ruling party holds its elective conference in December and Ramaphosa is seen as one of the main contenders to replace Zuma.
Dlamini was speaking at the 11th national conference of the National Health‚ Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) in Boksburg‚ east of Johannesburg.
“As part of our unapologetic stance to participate in the politics of this country‚ we have taken a clear stand on the upcoming 54th conference of the ANC‚ where we firmly support the ANC deputy president comrade Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next president of the ANC‚” said Dlamini to loud applause.
“We took this decision because we cannot afford to stand in the sidelines‚ while other classes are contesting and shaping the future of our movement.”
He assured the more than 1‚000 Nehawu delegates that Ramaphosa would be a leader who would listen to their grievances as workers and also avail himself where necessary to find amicable solutions to their problems.
“We are saying‚ as Cosatu‚ we are not naive to believe that comrade Cyril alone holds a silver bullet to all the problems of this country. It is the organisation. But‚ with him at the helm‚ coming from our ranks and understanding how we have been experiencing the exploitation‚ he will relate to those issues and he will listen to us and call us to solve the problems that we are trying to solve‚” said Dlamini.
“Under the leadership of cadre Cyril‚ we expect and demand that the ANC confronts the issue of labour brokers … scrap e-tolls and to make sure that our state-owned entities are not used as milk cows by anyone‚ including the big capital and parasitic bourgeoisie‚” the Cosatu leader said.
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.
At Cosatu’s May Day celebrations in Bloemfontein last month‚ Zuma was booed and heckled and prevented from addressing workers.
Nehawu is one of Cosatu’s biggest affiliates and has previously bypassed the federation and made a public call for Zuma to step down.