Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini will reportedly not face any consequences for attending President Jacob Zuma’s 75th birthday bash in April after he contradicted the labour federation’s position for the president to step down.
The Star reported on Wednesday that the federation’s affiliates, who were aggravated by Dlamini’s presence at the birthday celebrations in Kliptown, Soweto, had forgiven him after he apparently apologised during Cosatu’s recently concluded special central executive committee (CEC) meeting on Monday.
Speaking at Zuma’s party, Dlamini said workers affiliated to the federation wished him the best and were firmly behind his leadership.
“We wish you that in these hard‚ trying times‚ as a father a husband and leader‚ remain strong … As you are my leader‚ and we tackle these issues‚ I need you to be strong,” he said at the time.
The paper quoted National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary David Sipunzi, saying the matter did come up during the CEC meeting despite not being on the agenda.
“Some affiliates felt aggravated to have seen him at the birthday bash, but he manned up, and he apologised for it,” Sipunzi said. “There’s no need for him to be crucified because he knew he was wrong, and we therefore cannot punish him after he came out and apologised.”
The SA Democratic Teachers Union’s (Sadtu) general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said despite Dlamini’s apology for his presence at the celebrations, Cosatu’s highest decision-making structure did not discuss the issue, as it was not on the agenda.
Cosatu announced on Tuesday that the CEC had resolved to ban Zuma from addressing its central committee meetings and events, saying its decision to allow Zuma to speak at its main Workers’ Day Rally in Bloemfontein earlier this month was inconsistent with its stance that he must resign.
Cosatu will hold its next central committee meeting next week from Monday to Thursday, June 1.