Cosatu president gets ultimatum over apparent support for Zuma

Today is the last day of Cosatu's four-day committee meeting.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma speaks to Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini. Pitcure: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) president S’dumo Dlamini has been challenged by unions to play his role as the federation's leader.

Cosatu concluded its central committee meeting on Thursday.

Unions have also given Dlamini an ultimatum and told him to rally behind Cosatu's decisions.

Dlamini has come under fire for attending President Jacob Zuma's birthday celebration.

From the first day of this committee meeting, it was evident Dlamini was uncomfortable with decisions already taken by Cosatu.

In his welcoming address, he didn't mention two crucial decisions taken by Cosatu. Some of those decisions include a call for the president to step down and the decision to back his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.

National Union of Mine Workers’ Peter Bailey wants Dlamini to shape up.

“We want to make a humble plea now that the mandate has been reaffirmed. President of the federation, lead that process. If you can’t, please don’t be ashamed to rise and tell us so that we can find alternative ways.”

Throughout the conference, Dlamini seemed to avoid leading anti-Zuma songs and those that praise Ramaphosa.

The unions have told Dlamini that while they would never support a motion of no confidence in him, he must stop confusing workers and rally behind Cosatu's decisions.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)