The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)‚ one of the largest unions in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)‚ has called on President Jacob Zuma to step down and endorsed ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as Zuma’s successor.
NUM president Piet Matosa said the union’s national executive committee had decided that Ramaphosa should be the next ANC president‚ come the party’s December elective congress.
Speaking at the first day of the union’s two-day central committee meeting in Pretoria on Thursday‚ he called on the central committee to endorse this decision and ensure that Ramaphosa’s campaign was a success.
“This is the message we must take to our branches and that of the ANC. The deputy president of the ANC has always succeeded the president of the ANC. We want someone who brings hope that the ANC can be rescued from the current challenges. With this call we shall be condemning the brazen unusual tendencies and the corporate capture of the South African democratic state. Our sovereignty is not for sale‚” he said.
Matosa said the collective dream expressed in the Freedom Charter may be too far to reach if the current revelations of the extent of the Gupta family’s influence in state affairs are true.
He said they needed leaders they could trust without fear of betrayal.
Matosa said state capture appeared to run deep and wide.
“Yesterday it may be Denel‚ Transnet‚ Tegeta‚ Eskom‚ DMR (Department of Mineral Resources)‚ and many others. Tomorrow it will be the judiciary and even unions may not be immune. The tentacles of the criminal network are long‚ scheming and never cease to amaze. Thus‚ as NUM‚ we welcome government and the ANC’s commitment towards establishing the judicial commission‚” he said.
Matosa said it was clear that the courts are going to play an important role in days and months to come‚ saying many of the names appearing in the Gupta email saga would land in court and eventually jail.
“So there could be attempts to begin to defame the judiciary as a despairing tactic by those implicated. The courts must be resilient and their independence uncontaminated. There is a possibility to target them and the judicial officers given the current revelations which can only be properly and fairly be mediated by them‚” he said.
Matosa said though the alliance was wobbly‚ the tripartite alliance must meet and deal with the litany of concerns and attend to the email revelations.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe is set to address the conference‚ substituting Ramaphosa.