CWU will take mandate to Cosatu CEC if members call for Zuma to step down

The union says discussions on who should be the next president of the ANC are already underway.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The Communications Workers Union (CWU) says if the majority of its members support the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down, it will take the mandate to Congress of South African Trade Unions (Costau)’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting.

The union says discussions on who should be the next president of the African National Congress (ANC) are already underway.

The National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) became the first member of the tripartite alliance to call for Zuma’s axing.

CWU president Clyde Mervin says some of the union’s members believe if Zuma steps down, the ANC can be rebuilt as a stronger organisation.

“Obviously we’ll be going to a Cosatu CEC to have a discussion. So that discussion will be a very hotly contested discussion but obviously we’ll subject ourselves as the union to the majority, majority says whatever view, we’ll go with the majority because as a disciplined cadre that’s what we all do.”

Mervin said, “Already some of the members are of the view that he must step aside so that we can rebuild a strong ANC, rebuild a strong Cosatu, so that when the alliance is united the country will forward in a different direction.”


The ANC says it wants to unite the organisation ahead of its 2017 elective conference to ensure the succession debate doesn’t sow further divisions in the party.

To ensure this, some of the party’s leaders are embarking on a political education programme in various regions this weekend.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has spent time in the North West, while his deputy, Jessie Duarte, has been in the Western Cape this weekend.

They want to unify the organisation as it advances towards its conference next year where new leaders will be elected.

Some structures of the party such as the ANCWL and ANCYL have already indicated they want a woman president to succeed President Zuma, with outgoing African Union Commissioner Chair Nkosazana Dlamini being the favourite.

But unions affiliated to the party have announced they are behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC says it wants to teach their structures about the principles of selecting leadership for the movement.

The party says the political education programme is done with the aim of unifying the organisation as it advances towards the elective conference.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)