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Don't jump on #ZumaMustFall 'bandwagon': Numsa

18 December 2015 - 08:46 By Genevieve Quintal

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has come out against the #ZumaMustFall campaign, warning of a repeat of 2007 when former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled.

"The #ZumaMustFall campaign has however struck a chord among middle and working-class people of all races, who are rightly sickened by the scourge of corruption, cronyism, incompetence and the looting of the state, which they see as being personified by the president himself," Numsa national office bearers said in a statement on Thursday.

"But, while sympathising with their anger, we should not jump on the bandwagon and make the same mistake as in 2007 and create a ‘coalition of the wounded’ which does not offer the working class an alternative to Zuma or the ANC."

The president has faced a backlash recently after announcing last week that he was replacing Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene with ANC MP David van Rooyen.

There was a public outcry and calls for Zuma to be recalled over the move, which saw the rand reach record lows.

Four days after the announcement Zuma backtracked, replacing Van Rooyen with Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, which saw the rand recover somewhat.

This did not stop some citizens from marching on Wednesday calling for Zuma to be removed.

Citizens took part in #ZumaMustFall marches held in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and George.

Numsa said the campaign sought to replace Zuma, who it called a pro-capitalist president, with another.

The union condemned those who supported the campaign on the basis that Treasury's independence was threatened by Nene's removal.

Capitalism’s Trojan Horse

"It has never been ‘independent’ but capitalism’s Trojan Horse in government, through which they exercise their stranglehold on economic policy, and which they feared President Zuma’s sacking of Nene would weaken.

"They want Zuma to fall not because the president, or any of the rest of the Cabinet, have fundamentally different views from big business, or of successive finance ministers, whose policies and actions they have all consistently backed," Numsa said.

This was why pro-capitalists were supporting Gordhan's reappointment who they hoped would continue their "control of government neoliberal economic policies", as happened under his previous term in this office.

Numsa said replacing leaders or tinkering with the system was not the answer.

"We cannot subscribe to the tactical call for Zuma to fall without any strategic consideration of what is the alternative for the rural poor, the unemployed, workers and the broader working class.

"The only real alternative to the current mess was adopted by Numsa’s Special National Congress in 2013, which resolved to build new platforms of working class organisation to build working class power so that the working class acts as a class for itself, based on a programme for the fundamental, socialist transformation of the economy and society," the union said.

Source: News24