The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), the ANC’s biggest alliance partner, has been slammed by the ANCYL for publicly endorsing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the party’s next leader.
Addressing the media on Wednesday at St George Hotel in Irene‚ Pretoria‚ the youth league criticised the trade union federation’s executive committee for its decision to support and lobby for Ramaphosa, saying it should butt out of the ANC’s leadership race.
“We have also noted the temptation and eagerness by some alliance partner to pronounce their preference on who should lead the ANC. The ANC has never interfered on how they elect their leadership, and as such they must not attempt to interfere with the processes of the ANC‚” said ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza.
The ANC national executive committee will hold its lekgotla in Pretoria this weekend amid growing divisions within the ANCYL’s structures over who will take over party reins from Jacob Zuma when his term ends in December as the governing party’s president.
The ANCYL has so far been seen as backing outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its candidate for president, but reports have emerged that some league leaders and provincial structures are in favour of Ramaphosa succeeding Zuma in line with party tradition.
Nzuza said the strategic political partnership between the ANC, Cosatu and the South African Communist Party, also known as the tripartite alliance, is not meant to be used for leadership preferences.
“The alliance is a strategic collaboration born out of [the] struggle to build a better life for our people and not leadership preferences. The alliance is meant to function as a critical instrument in the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution‚ not leadership preference‚” he said.
Cosatu announced its decision to back the deputy president in November after pressure from some of its affiliate unions to take a stance on the ANC’s succession debate. Its biggest affiliate, the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), has called for Zuma to resign following a raft of scandals that have beset his time in office.
The public sector union has also called for Ramaphosa to immediately take over as leader ahead of the party’s 54th national elective conference in December.