COSATU to strike against state capture, corruption
31 August 2017
Johannesburg - COSATU will on September 27 hold a nationwide strike against state capture, corruption, and job losses, the trade union federation announced on Thursday.
It had already obtained a certificate to strike from the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters after its central executive committee meeting, which ended on Wednesday.
All COSATU affiliates in various sectors would join the strike. The twin evils of corruption and job losses had cost workers their jobs and robbed people of much-needed services, he said.
COSATU president Sdumo Dlamini said the strike was not about President Jacob Zuma, who has been accused of being involved in state capture involving his friends, the Gupta family.
"We are striking against corruption in the private and public sector and any individual supposedly guilty of corruption will be targeted."
A proposal for members to march to ANC headquarters Luthuli House, following COSATU’s call for Zuma to step down, was made in the central executive committee but rejected.
The federation was instrumental in Zuma ascending to the presidency in 2009. It, however, turned against him following his Cabinet reshuffle in March. It banned him from attending or speaking at its events.
COSATU first deputy president Tyotyo James said COSATU would continue its campaign for Zuma to step down.
The trade union federation said the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture should not be limited to the Gupta family’s alleged influence on the executive and state-owned enterprises. It should extend to before 1994 and include the government of national unity, led by former president Nelson Mandela.
“We should know who has been getting tenders at Eskom over so many decades. Apart from the Guptas, how many other families have been getting tenders from Eskom, Denel, SAA?” Dlamini asked.
It was an undeniable fact that the state, including Treasury, had long been captured, he said.Ntshalintshali said rumours about underhand deals and looting of the state on the eve of the democratic dispensation could not be ignored.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela investigated the Gupta family’s alleged undue influence on government. They allegedly offered some ANC leaders ministerial jobs, in exchange for their businesses getting favourable treatment and government tenders.
She recommended that a judicial inquiry, led by a judge, investigate these allegations. Zuma had taken the report on review, arguing that Mandonsela overstepped her powers.
He said that only the president had the power to institute an inquiry and appoint a judge to head it.