Women suffer in political wars: premier
South African women and children are the ones who suffer the most when political parties engage in "civil wars", Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Friday.
"All these men who are leaders of the African countries must understand that when they create civil wars, it is us women and children who suffer the most, [even] when they fight... in the ANC, in Cosatu and in the [SA Communist] Party," she said.
Mokonyane was speaking at the Gauteng Congress of SA Trade Unions' 11th provincial congress in Johannesburg.
She said more women needed to get involved in the debates within the ANC, especially at its elective conference in Mangaung at the end of the year.
"We constitute the majority of the ANC and the majority of the trade unions... It is time that we tell them that when there is conflict, most of those who are casualties are women," she said.
She said Gauteng was the hub of business in the country and Cosatu often advised her office on the best ways to govern the province.
"We must acknowledge the constructive role that Cosatu is playing in the future of Gauteng," Mokonyane said.
"Within our planning commission, we have been able to establish an advisory council that will advise the premier. Among those... one is the chairperson of Cosatu here in the province, Comrade Phutas Tseki."
If things were not "economically sound" in the country, Gauteng would be the first to sneeze before the rest of South Africa caught a cold, the premier quipped.
Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee member Uhuru Moiloa told the congress that the conference in Mangaung should not focus only on issues of leadership.
"What must emerge from Mangaung should not be about leadership. The truth is that the ANC is never short on leadership," he said.
"We can never say [we support] this or that leader. We must always give space and should never promote any individual against another."
Earlier, the congress was divided between members holding up two fingers, indicating their support for a second term for Zuma, and others who rolled their hands in a motion associated with calling for a substitution of a soccer player.
The second group was calling for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to be elected as ANC president at the end of the year.
Cosatu chairman Phutas Tseki eventually called the congress to order.
"There are people who have symbols like this and that," he said mimicking the member's gestures.
Phutas said the trade federation needed to avoid making the congress "like Mangaung".
"We do not have names [for the ANC's elective conference]. Comrade Motlanthe is our deputy president. Comrade Zuma is the president of South Africa and the ANC," he said as several members "booed" in disapproval.
The congress accepted nominations for Gauteng leadership positions on Thursday, but the top positions were all unchallenged.
Tseki retained his position as chairman. Macy Sekaledi was the only person nominated for deputy chair. Dakile retained his position as secretary, and Pulane Mokgotsi was the only nominee for treasurer.