BY JEFF WICKS AND LWANDILE BHENGU
Cosatu President S’dumo Dlamini has moved to bolster the labour federation’s stance in the tripartite alliance, saying it would assert itself by supporting Cyril Ramaphosa for the presidency of the party at the ANC’s elective conference in December.
Thousands of federation members, led Dlamini, marched through Durban’s city centre on Wednesday.
The demonstration was part of a national “shutdown” in opposition to state capture.
As protesters edged their way towards the steps of the city hall, they sang songs with lyrics that likened the Gupta family to dogs.
“AmaGupta ayizinja,” they sang.
On Cosatu’s backing of Ramaphosa to lead the ANC, Dlamini said he should be given “a chance to lead”.
“We have a direct say in the leadership of the ANC because it impacts on us. We are a part of the ANC,” he said.
He went on to condemn divisions in the alliance and within Cosatu.
“Let’s fix our problems in the alliance. We need to reconfigure ourselves now. Cosatu has one voice and we will not be divided.
“I want to say to whomever was kicked out by Cosatu – they know why. I am not referring to the workers, I am talking about those who were once in the leadership. Stop talking about Cosatu,” he said.
Dlamini, seen as an ally of President Jacob Zuma, earlier alluded to a plot by some within the tripartite alliance to oust him from the presidency of Cosatu.
In an interview on Ukhozi FM on Tuesday night Dlamini said some people were working with the media to drive a wedge between him and the rest of the Cosatu leadership, and that of the tripartite alliance.
These comments were made days after reports that Dlamini did not participate in preparation for Wednesday’s march.