Ramaphosa, prove you’re not a ‘powerless scarecrow’ – Cosatu

Cosatu deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe. Picture: ANA

Cosatu’s Solly Phetoe said Ramaphosa must take action against those who were shown to be corrupt in the procurement of PPE and Eskom.

Trade union federation Cosatu has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to act decisively against corruption and “prove that his administration is not a powerless scarecrow with rubber teeth”.

This came as a litany of reports surfaced highlighting corruption in emergency procurement amid the Covid-19 state of disaster – some linked to senior ANC leaders.

Cosatu, who was once a key ally of Ramaphosa, issued a strongly worded statement and criticised Ramaphosa’s political weakness.

“The ANC under his leadership continues to be seen as a rent-seeking, unaccountable caste. The president needs to act decisively and prove that his administration is not a powerless scarecrow with rubber teeth. He needs to honour his commitments made to the people of South Africa and prove that his promises were not just meaningless platitudes of a politician during the vote harvesting season,” Cosatu said.

The labour movement said Ramaphosa had to do an honest introspection and recognise that his administration was facing an “existential crises”.

Cosatu’s Solly Phetoe said Ramaphosa must take action against those who were shown to be corrupt in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and Eskom.

“When Ramaphosa was elected he made a public statement to deal with corruption. We are calling [on] him to take action,” he said.

The Cosatu statement added: “We want to remind him that he made a solid commitment to the nation that he was going to champion the fight against corruption in the build-up to Nasrec. He promised to do away with the impunity that was prevalent in the previous administration. We demand more action from the president and less banalities and clichés.”

Phetoe said corruption regarding PPE have a direct consequence for workers on the frontline.

This weekend, the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) was rocked by corruption finger-pointing as leaders argued that the NEC was unable to hold its own leaders accountable.

There was also a fierce discussion around family members of ANC leaders who were doing business with the state, with many insisting there was nothing wrong with it.

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