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South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has slammed umbrella trade union Cosatu for backing Cyril Ramaphosa’s for the party’s presidency.
ANC said the Congress of South African Trade Unions had jumped the gun in throwing its weight behind the deputy president.
The union federation this week announced it preferred the Mr Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma in December next year.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said such premature pronouncements derailed attempts to restore unity.
To foster unity
He said Cosatu had undermined the party’s control over its own internal issues, adding that unions should not be interfering with the ANC internal processes.
‘The right to elect the leadership is a right only reserved for the ANC. These premature pronouncements don’t help to foster unity, » Mr Kodwa said.
The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has also thrown its weight behind Mr Ramaphosa.
ANCWL has previously said it would back a woman candidate to lead ANC.
Following Cosatu’s support for Mr Ramaphosa, the ANCWL has also rallied behind him saying his credentials were solid and would stand him in good stead
ANCWL President Bathabile Dlamini said Mr Ramaphosa’s contribution to the liberation of the country and the labour movement spoke for itself.
Ms Dlamini also promised not to use the Marikana massacre, to campaign against Mr Ramaphosa’s candidacy. The deputy president was a non-executive member of the Lonmin board and a shareholder when police shot and killed 34 strikers at Lonmin’s mine in Marikana in August 2012.
‘He has led in the trade union movement, in the ANC, as well as constitution processes. He is also as business person that in itself will assist him as an individual,’ Ms Dlamini said.
Cosatu First Deputy President Tyotyo James has also stood firm on Mr Ramaphosa’s track record.
‘It is through his effort and the National Union of Mine-workers, that mine workers were liberated from prison-like conditions on the mines,’ he said.
Mr Ramaphosa faces stiff competition from outgoing Africa Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the party’s presidency.