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NUM to persuade Cosatu to back Ramaphosa leadership

The union has pointed out that it is ANC tradition for deputy leaders to take the top job.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma (right) and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (left) wave to the thousands of ANC supporters at an ANC rally. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it will try to persuade its mother body, Cosatu, to back Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma when his term is over.

The mining union says the decision to support Ramaphosa's candidacy was taken at its recent central committee meeting.

NUM general-secretary David Sipunzi says Ramaphosa has a good track record and they believe he'll be ready to take over from Zuma at the end of his term.

"We believe Cyril, as an understudy, is ready and we're convinced his track record speaks for himself. He is the founding general secretary of the NUM."

Meanwhile, Cosatu has decided to opt out of the succession debate for now. Sipunzi says they'll try and persuade Cosatu to back Ramaphosa.

"We will try to persuade everybody to see the way we see. If they don't we're not going to swear at them."

The union has pointed out that it is African National Congress tradition for deputy leaders to take the top job, adding that whatever Ramaphosa may have done during 2012 in his role as a Lonmin shareholder is irrelevant because he's put aside all his business interests.

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