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Ntshalintshali cautions Cosatu leaders against speaking against party

Bheki Ntshalintshali's comments came after Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini's show of support for President Jacob Zuma at his birthday festivities last week.

Cosatu Secretary General Bheki Ntshalintshali addresses the media at Cosatu house in Braamfontein  on 4 April 2017 on the trade union federation's call for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali has cautioned against leaders who go against decisions taken by the labour federation, saying they should rather step down.

Ntshalintshali addressed Cosatu's Gauteng provincial shop steward council in Johannesburg on Thursday.

His comments came after the federation's president Sdumo Dlamini's show of support for President Jacob Zuma at his birthday festivities last week, which other tripartite alliance and senior African National Congress leaders did not attend.

Cosatu has been vocal in its call for Zuma to resign, saying it no longer has faith in his leadership.

It appears Dlamini's public support for the presidency did not go down well with his general-secretary and Bheki Ntshalintshali did not mince his words.

“When a decision has been taken, you must be the first one to stand up and defend that decision. “

Ntshalintshali says Cosatu leaders have a responsibility to back its decisions.

“If you can’t accept decisions taken by the majority and you can’t defend it, you must step down and say: I can’t defend it.”

He also took a swipe at Zuma, saying he found it bizarre that only now has he decided to support a woman president.

Ntshalintshali says South Africa is not the United States of America and there will never be a Bill and Hillary Clinton in this country.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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