Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2006-07-24 Reporter: Sapa Reporter: Reporter:

E Cape Cosatu Considers Strikes over Zuma Trial



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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Eastern Cape may strike if there are repeated delays in former deputy president Jacob Zuma's fraud and corruption trial, Cosatu's provincial secretary said on Monday.

"If there are perpetual postponements in the case, then we will have no option [other] than to take a stance," said Xola Pakati.

Last week the prosecution said it had filed an application for the postponement of the case, and this will be heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday.

Pakati said: "JZ [Zuma] was charged a long time ago and the state should be able to lead evidence."

If there are repeated delays after the start of the trial on Monday, the provincial committee will consider its options.

"This includes the possibility of a strike. We will demonstrate to the public our dissatisfaction," said Pakati, confirming a report on the Herald online.

Commenting, Cosatu's national spokesperson Patrick Craven said that there were provincial congresses under way at present, in the run up to the national congress.

"Their resolution will go into the mix for the national congress in September. We won't take a national position until September," Craven told the South African Press Association.

Craven said that the provinces were allowed to "do their own thing" if this did not contradict Cosatu policy.

"It appears to be in line with the [central executive committee] decision taken last year that charges be withdrawn and that he should be restored as deputy president."

Zuma was acquitted of rape earlier this year and will face charges related to a high court finding that he had a "generally corrupt" relationship with his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.

With acknowledgement to Sapa and Mail & Guardian.