Publication: Independent Online Issued: Date: 2003-09-15 Reporter: Sapa

Cosatu Members March in Support of Zuma



Independent Online

Date 2003-09-15



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Thousands of Congress of South African Trade Union members chanted liberation songs supporting Deputy President Jacob Zuma as they marched to Gallagher Estate in Midrand where the federation would begin its Eighth national congress on Monday.

The members, clad in their red caps and tops, sang: "Wena ulawula ama Scorpions sitshele ukuthi uZuma wethu wenzeni?" (Head of the Scorpions tell us what our leader has done?)

Zuma and Scorpions head Bulelani Ngcuka had been at loggerheads after the elite detective unit announced it was probing the deputy president on bribery allegations related to the controversial arms deal.

At the four-day congress, Cosatu is expected to back Zuma on the arms deal investigation and bribery allegations.

One of the main issues to be addressed at the congress include privatisation and its impact on employment. Since 1999, Cosatu has lost about half-a-million members due the large number of job losses.

Also to come under the spotlight is Cosatu's tripartite alliance with the African National Congress and South African Communist Party. It is largely expected that Cosatu will pledge its support for the ruling party in the upcoming elections.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Independent Online.