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Cosatu’s threats against Ramaphosa justified? Analysts weigh in

The trade union federation represents over 1.6 million workers, with the majority in the public service, where many are affected by the non-delivery of personal protective equipment due to corruption.

FILE: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa at Cosatu's May Day rally at Sugar Ray Xulu stadium in Clermont, Durban. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Political experts said the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) was justified in its criticism of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his administration.

The trade union federation represents over 1.6 million workers, with the majority in the public service, where many are affected by the non-delivery of personal protective equipment due to corruption.

Earlier, Cosatu said there would be a parting of ways between itself and the sixth administration if Ramaphosa continued not to take action against malfeasance in the state.

Professor Somadoda Fikeni said he understood Cosatu’s reasons for taking on the president.

In his analysis of the statement issued by Cosatu, describing the president and his administration as feeble and dysfunctional, he added that Ramaphosa had squandered an opportunity to enjoy the public’s trust.

“A president, when he does his speech, it's like he wants to ensure no one in the house is offended.”

Meanwhile, analyst Lukhona Mnguni said Cosatu might be forced to resolve its issues with the government through other means rather than politically.

“They will now also have to engage to publicly oppose this administration, remember they might have given this administration some benefit of the doubt, as well as leeway.”

Cosatu is in an alliance with the ANC and the SACP and on Monday said political weakness in the country had produced economic weaknesses.

Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla explained: “We want him to lead the fight against corruption and we want to see results. We are tired of meaningless platitudes and speeches that won’t take us anywhere.”

The federation further stated that under Ramaphosa’s leadership, the ANC had continued to be seen as a “rent-seeking, unaccountable caste”.

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