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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Cosatu Gauteng backs Ramaphosa for ANC presidency

Free State and Limpopo’s provincial executive committees have also endorsed Ramaphosa.

The Gauteng chapter of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has joined the increasing number of the federation’s structures to endorse ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma as the party’s next president and subsequently president of the republic.

Cosatu Gauteng provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said the provincial executive committee agreed with the decision of the federation’s central executive committee, which identified Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma.

Free State and Limpopo’s provincial executive committees also endorsed Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is earmarked to contest the post against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The contest has divided the ANC into two groups, each supporting one of the candidates. While Cosatu endorsed Ramaphosa, SA Communist Party has decided to remain neutral on the issue, saying it would leave the matter to the ANC to determine.

Cosatu’s central executive committee recently said it chose Ramaphosa because he was the only leader in the ANC with the potential to promote the agenda of the working class because of his background in the trade union movement.

Ramaphosa was the secretary-general of the National Union of Mineworkers before he was elected as the ANC general secretary in 1994.

Prior to that, he was the ANC chief negotiator at the Convention for Democratic South Africa talks that culminated in the 1994 first democratic elections and the country’s new constitution.

Dlamini-Zuma was deeply rooted in the ANC and women’s structures nationally and in KwaZulu-Natal, where she was born. She served as minister of health under Nelson Mandela and as minister of foreign affairs under Thabo Mbeki.

After a stint as minister of home affairs, under the Zuma presidency, she was redeployed as chairperson of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dakile said the provincial executive committee resolved that the upcoming national and provincial conferences of the ANC must be used as a starting point to deal with the challenges facing the movement.

“Our failure to confront these issues without any fear or favour would be very catastrophic to the national democratic revolution.

“It will set back the revolution of our people and unfortunately recovery is not guaranteed as it has happened in many other liberation movements across the globe,” Dakile said.

He said the committee resolved that the radical economic transformation proposed by the ANC must focus on the people as a whole and not few selected individuals with political and economic connections.

“The radical economic transformation must be about bringing development and empowerment to our rural people.

“It must be about freedom for the working class from the yoke of capitalism and exploitation.

“Anything that does not address this will never be a radical economic freedom but it will represent the continuation of the status quo and looting of the state,” Dakile said.


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