You can't preach 'unity' if you contest for ANC leadership - COSATU deputy president

Zingiswa Losi says a 'unifier' puts his or her interests aside in the interest of the organisation

You can't preach 'unity' if you contest for ANC leadership - COSATU deputy president

27 September 2017

Johannesburg – Those who have put up their hands for a position in the ANC's leadership at its December conference cannot be truly preaching for unity in the movement, COSATU deputy president Zingiswa Losi said.

"You can’t be saying let's collapse the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Cyril Ramaphosa campaigns and find a neutral campaign and you pronounce yourself to be in it," Losi said during a media briefing on Tuesday.

"You are pronouncing yourself that you are ready – a unifier puts his or her interests aside and says 'In the interest of the organisation, this is what we think'…"

Her remarks come as ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize and ANC Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza were talking about unity to structures and leaders of the party. However, both are understood to have ambitions for key positions in the party.

Mkhize is believed to be gunning for the presidency, while Mabuza is said to be eyeing the position of second-in-command.

Supporting some of Losi’s sentiments, SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila told journalists it was a difficult time for the movement.

Three of the ANC’s alliance partners have been at odds with the party, demanding that it recall Jacob Zuma as president of the country.

The ANC has refused to heed the call, and as a result Zuma was heckled at a Workers' Day rally and banned from speaking at any of the alliance partners’ engagements.

Mapaila, who said the liberation movement needed leadership across the board, said unity should not be a self-serving call.

"Self interest groups are opportunistically stealing the moment in the name of unity – they want to steal the movement," he warned.

He said the movement supported unity in its truest sense but rejected "opportunistic unity", which he said did not serve the needs of the people.

COSATU and the SACP announced on Tuesday that they were happy with the response to Wednesday's planned nationwide marches against state capture and corruption.