WITH less than eight weeks to go before the ANC’s December elective conference, Cosatu has given up its fight on making President Jacob Zuma step down before the year is out.
Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the ANC’s alliance partner had now resigned itself to the possibility of Zuma completing his ANC term of office until the end of the year. “I suppose so, but the call was not made in a vacuum.
It was linked to our support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next president as well as the realisation that on the side of the president (Zuma), there is resistance for him to accept that call,” Pamla said.
Pamla’s comment came in the wake of a crucial alliance political council last week that brought all four tripartite alliance partners under one roof amid acrimonious relations between them. Pamla, referred to “perceptions” that Ramaphosa’s campaign for the ANC presidency was beginning to exhibit symptoms of fatigue.
He said Cosatu’s biggest worry was an ANC conference that would be subject to legal challenge, given the recent spate of court challenges engulfing the party. “Everything else has yet to be tested. What we need to ensure is that the conference does not lose legitimacy.
We can’t come up with tactics (campaign for Ramaphosa) in a flawed process when some branches are saying we are being sidelined in convening branch general meetings. “Anarchy can’t be stemmed by sharpening our tactics.
We have reflected on this. Ramaphosa should not find himself winning a contested conference,” Pamla said. However, Pamla said that as the jostling for positions among the ANC top brass intensified, the alliance should not lose sight of bigger challenges awaiting it after “December 20”.
“When the winners are patting themselves on the back and the losers are packing their bags, we’ll be facing the harsh reality of massive poverty and inequality,” he said.
Addressing SACP members who broke out in an unofficial campaign song for Ramaphosa in Mpumalanga yesterday, SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila urged party members to participate in discussions at ANC branch level that would aid the alliance going forward.
“We must go to branches and participate in the best interest of our movement, not factions,” he said. Mapaila also painted a bleak picture of the country’s economic and political future under Zuma’s leadership.
“Our county is going down, its being stolen right in front of our eyes. If we don’t act nothing will change,” he said. ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said last week at the start of the much anticipated alliance political council, that the meeting was not aimed at “dismantling” the workings of the alliance.
“We are all committed to ensuring that we walk out of this meeting with the alliance intact and certainly that is the spirit of this meeting.”