National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), on Wednesday in Boksburg near Johannesburg has called for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma.
The over 338,000 member union is the largest affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, an umbrella body of unions and powerful ally of the African National Congress (ANC).
It was gathered from agency reports that this is coming one week after Zuma was heckled and booed in front of many world leaders and a global television audience at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.
The union President, Andrew Chirw, at a special national congress questioned why their members should continue voting for the ruling ANC when the party had abandoned the “Freedom Charter’’, its founding document.
He added that the spending of 20 million dollars of public funds on Zuma’s private Nkandla residence should be reason enough for him to “resign in the interests of the poor”.
Chirw stressed that Zuma’s resignation would preserve the legacy of Mandela “who taught us that the needs of the people must be prioritised over personal needs of leaders.”
Also speaking, Irvin Jim, the Secretary General of the union, warned that the ruling party could be treated like the apartheid regime, if it did not produce good results.
NUMSA delegates hinted that they were exploring the possibility of dropping the ANC and forming a workers’ party that might contest next year’s general elections.