President Jacob Zuma is likely serve out his term despite polls indicating that the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), continues to lose support under his rule.
This is according to Bheki Ntshalintshali, the general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which is allied with the ANC.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Ntshalintshali said that the party had learnt from the past, having been harmed by its decision to remove Thabo Mbeki as president in 2008.
“From the bleeding it had when it recalled Thabo Mbeki and now again to recall someone who’s left with a few months to retire from the ANC, I think they will allow the natural processes to go through than creating more divisions within the movement. It’s too risky for them,” the union boss said.
Bloomberg noted that Cosatu has 1.9 million members, and played a key role in bringing Zuma to power.
The president’s second term as ANC leader is due to end next year, while his final term as president comes to an end in 2019.
Cosatu said it will continue to support the ANC’s campaign, however, it called on the party the party to act more decisively against ‘ill-disciplined members’ who engage in violent protests.
It follows ANC in-fighting that has spilled onto the streets of Tshwane last week.
Cosatu’s president, Sdumo Dlamini, warned other political parties of the strength within the ANC. “The mistake is for people to say: ‘We will just throw the rope to the ANC and the ANC must go and hang themselves. It doesn’t happen that way.”
“Sometimes the ANC says that it moves like an elephant,” Ntshalintshali said. “It moves slowly but when it moves, things are corrected. We think they have to move very swiftly and be able to give some discipline.”