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Cosatu unions divided on march to Luthuli House

Members of the CWU proposed during a committee meeting on Wednesday that Cosatu march to Luthuli House on 15 June to call for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Cosatu delegates at the central committee meeting at the Saint George's Hotel in Pretoria. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN.

PRETORIA - Some unions within the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have proposed that the federation march to Luthuli House next month to demand President Jacob Zuma's removal as part of an ongoing campaign to push for the president to resign.

Cosatu is holding its central committee meeting in Tshwane.

The meeting is assessing the implementation of the federation's 12th national congress resolutions and its campaigns.

Given that the Communications Workers Union (CWU) was the second Cosatu affiliate to call on President Jacob Zuma to step down last year, it wasn't a surprise that the union's general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala rose and proposed the march.

“We are saying now Cosatu must take this action to the streets, I’ll say perhaps on 15 June we march to Luthuli House to make emphasis on this campaign.”

But because the CWU is not in good standing at this meeting, the National Union of Mineworkers rose and made the same proposal again.

However, the National Health Education & Allied Workers Union, the first union to call on the president to resign, rejected the proposal. The union's Mike Shingange argued that a march to Luthuli House would not be strategic.

“What will stop the ANC from marching to Cosatu House? What will be that thing? We think that will just be anarchy on the country, comrade.”

It will now be up to the central committee meeting to decide if the proposal becomes a conference resolution.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)