Cosatu march in East London demands action against state capture and corruption

Cosatu strike in East London. Photo by Chris Gilili

“If Zuma will not go, we are prepared to fight. Our country cannot be run by one family.” These were the words of the SACP Deputy Secretary Chris Mathlako in front of the East London City Hall on Wednesday.

East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

“If Zuma will not go, we are prepared to fight. Our country cannot be run by one family.” These were the words of the SACP Deputy Secretary Chris Mathlako in front of the East London City Hall on Wednesday.

More than 300 members from Cosatu-affiliated unions took to the streets of the East London CBD in support of the national strike action led by the federation. The march which was delayed, commenced from the North End stadium and proceeded to the City Hall in East London, where the offices of the ANC are located.

“We pledge out solidarity with the strike action. Recently we were told that the Minister of Finance wants to tap into the PIC where pensioners’ money is kept. All this to save the sinking South African Airways (SAA). As the SACP we are saying not in our name, we will make sure that this does not happen,” Mathlako told workers.

“Cosatu is correct in what it did, by [invoking] section 77 of our Constitution and striking. We are not striking because we are bored, we have the interest of our country at heart. We cannot allow the political killings in KZN to go unnoticed. They are tender- and power hunger-related killings.”

Former Buffalo City Metro Mayor Alfred Mtsi, said that as the ANC in the Eastern Cape they are fully behind the strike.

“Cosatu has its own right to embark on any action as it may require. Our duty as an ally is to support them on what they are doing. The time we are facing as a country requires us to close rank and consolidate to realise what we need to against our enemy. We are not saying the ANC is corrupt, however we are aware that there are certain corrupt individuals within the ANC,” said Mtsi.

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Mike Shingange, the First Deputy President of NEHAWU, also sent a message that shook the crowd. Starting his address by saying that the president must go, he continued: “We are tired of folding our arms while the fruits of our freedom are being eroded by the corrupt. We refuse to die in silence as Cosatu, that’s why we are here.

“Our country cannot be run by the Guptas while our people on the ground are suffering. They must go, in fact all contracts entered into with the Guptas must be reviewed by the auditor general.”

The memorandum was accepted by an official from the office of the Premier who could not avail himself. Cosatu demanded a response within 14 days.

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About Chris Gilili 27 Articles
Chris Gilili, a 23 year old freelance journalist based in East London. Graduated from Walter Sisulu University media studies school in 2015. Had a stint with Independent Media, in sports writing. Passionate about news and the media.