Cosatu boss rides to JZ's defence
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini yesterday praised embattled President Jacob Zuma and claimed he was not responsible for the Taxation Law Amendment Act.
He decried attacks directed at Zuma by detractors and lauded him for maintaining his cool.
"I think Jacob Zuma, as president of the ANC, is leading the ANC with great impetus," he said.
"There is no single president who has experienced so much (sic) attacks from day one. And still he keeps his cool and laughs," said Dlamini.
Calling for the scrapping of the act, he defended Zuma's signing of it, saying the president should not be singled out. He said that if Zuma was to consider scrapping the law he would not be regarded as a weakling.
"Cosatu will not be drawn into an agenda, pushed from some quarters, that Zuma must fall. There is no reason for him to step down.
"We are making this call that the president should scrap this law, not to weaken him. Cosatu is not putting the blame for this law on Zuma," he said.
Dlamini, also a member of the ANC's national executive committee, said that Zuma was not a deciding factor when the law was formulated.
He instead blamed political parties, which he said supported the bill when it was brought before parliament.
Cosatu's general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, told the federation's central executive committee the enactment of the taxation law was an act of provocation.
"The unilateral enactment of this law by government, without a comprehensive social security paper, was not only the provocation of workers, but also a worrying rejection and an abandonment of alliance and ANC positions by government."
Ntshalintshali dismissed perceptions that workers do not want to save money.
"This law will deny workers the right to use their money to improve their lives, while allowing pension fund managers and consultants to continue living in opulence, using those same workers' money."
He said the federation would escalate the campaign to fight for the scrapping of the law.
He said workers would embark on lunchtime pickets and protests at Nedlac offices.
Marches would also be organised at treasury offices.
"There will be a massive strike, planned to coincide with the implementation date of this law, which is March 1."