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Cosatu 'backs' Zuma for 2nd term

Leaders of Cosatu are apparently backing Jacob Zuma for a second term.

President Jacob Zuma attends the ANC's national elective conference. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Leaders of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) had harsh criticism of President Jacob Zuma's leadership, but still decided he deserved a second term as president.

Officials in the know about Cosatu's two-day meeting this week said the debate around Zuma was heated.

But they said supporters of deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe could not point to concrete reasons why he would be a better choice.

Cosatu appeared to take an approach of "better the devil you know" when they decided to support Zuma.

The trade union federation admitted that Zuma needed to give better clarity on issues of foreign policy and economic direction, but conceded there was no way of knowing what Motlanthe would do differently.

Leaders apparently said they wanted Motlanthe to continue as deputy president, secretary general Gwede Mantashe and national chairwoman Baleka Mbete to retain their positions - but they gave Treasurer General Mathews Phosa and Deputy Secretary General Thandi Modise the boot.

ANC delegates will nominate the top six at their national elective conference in Mangaung in December.