Cosatu unions give Zuma the brush off on Workers' Day

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has written to trade union federation Cosatu, asking that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa address its main rally in Bloemfontein instead of ANC President Jacob Zuma.

The letter in possession of the Mail & Guardian includes a statement by secretary Bereng Soke, on behalf of the union, in which he says inviting Zuma to address any of the rallies would send conflicting messages.

Writing to Cosatu’s Bheki, Ntshalintshali, Soke says:

“We request the national office bearers to look into this matter and inform the ANC that comrade Zuma must be replaced by another eligible leader of the ANC, particularly the deputy president as the main speaker in the main rally...This possible confusion will intensify the existing instability within the movement and present a potential to further weaken Cosatu."

Nehawu is Cosatu's largest affiliate.

Earlier this month Cosatu called for President Jacob Zuma to step down, saying he is not fit to run the country.

READ: Cosatu wants Zuma to step down

The Communication Workers’ Union has supported Nehawu’s request with its own letter.

Political Analyst Karima gives a run through the latest developments.

Remember Cosatu as thrown its hat in the ring saying the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa need to lead the country.

Karima Brown, political analyst

Cosatu has subsequently sent an email explaining to members of the central executive committee that it had invited president Jacob Zuma, Blade Nzimande and of course its own president to be at these rallies to give messages of support.

Karima Brown, political analyst

I think that while this is an immediate issue relating to the factionalism, it's also a more fundamental question about just how Cosatu continues to participate in the alliance.

Karima Brown, political analyst

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