JOHANNESBURG – Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it is still inviting President Jacob Zuma to its May Day rally in Bloemfontein on Monday because it can’t dictate to the African National Congress (ANC) what it should do or who it should send.
At least three Cosatu unions have said they believe Zuma should not speak at the event because that would send a confusing message in light of Cosatu’s resolution that Zuma should resign as president.
Both the ANC and Cosatu have now confirmed that Zuma will go to the event.
Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla says they simply sent an invitation to the ANC and it’s up to the ANC to decide who should come to this rally.
“We will never accept the situation where the ANC in future or any other alliance partner will send us an invitation and then put conditions to say ‘we invite you on condition to you one, two or three.’”
While the ANC’s Zizi Kodwa is not expecting anyone to boo Zuma or walk out when he speaks.
“We’re not worried at all because Cosatu has sent us a list of activities and they said that we must decide whom we deploy and as part of the processes, the president will be part of the main event.”
But unions like National Health Education & Allied Workers Union and the South African Democratic Teachers Union now have to decide what action they will take after saying they believed Zuma should not attend this event.
Pamla said this decision to allow Zuma to speak at their main rally on Monday does not contradict their resolution that he should step down as president.
“We do have a standing decision coming from the special CEC, but that decision was never extended to mean the president should step down from his position as the leader of the ANC.”
Kodwa said Zuma will go to Bloemfontein.
“Cosatu affirmed and confirmed that they areexpecting the president. Of course, affiliates of Cosatu have got a right to their views, but it does not make it a view of Cosatu.”
Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini has been heavily criticised for attending Zuma’s birthday celebrations, despite the fact his federation has said Zuma should leave the Union Buildings.