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May Day rally cancellation is regrettable - Dr. Blade Nzimande

1 May 2017 4:23 PM

Cosatu's main Workers’ Day rally in Bloemfontein was cancelled without any speeches.

President Jacob Zuma was expected to address workers at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s main Workers’ Day rally in Bloemfontein but was prevented from doing so after a scuffle broke out between pro and anti-Zuma supporters at the rally.

Dr Blade Nzimande, Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party (SACP) says the turn out of Monday's events is regrettable.

In many respects this is a sad day.

Dr Blade Nzimande, Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party

Nzimande says this is the last wake up call the alliance needed. He says he knew the workers were unhappy but was unaware to which extent their grievances stretched. He says it is now up to the top leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) to reignite the movement for the sake of the country.

I cannot with any certainty say that people were bussed from outside the Free State.

Dr Blade Nzimande, Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party

Nzimande says he cannot confirm that the scuffles and denouncing of President Jacob Zuma were choreographed as claimed by Free State Premier, Ace Magashule. Nzimande goes on to say that leadership needs to stop looking for excuses and acknowledge the disgruntled workers. He says when he arrived at the rally he was soon told there are some workers who wanted to hold an alternative rally.

There were red t-shirts that read 100% Zuma with no logo, that seemed to anger some of the workers. And there were people brought in from the ANCYL and ANCWL from the province to come and occupy the front spaces while the workers were marching.

Dr Blade Nzimande, Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party

Nzimande says the inclusion of ANCWL and ANCYL has possibly contributed to the unhappiness of the workers and resulted in the scuffle.

It was clear that something was going to go wrong.

Dr Blade Nzimande, Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party

Nzimande adds that today's events call for a joint analysis, sharing of notes and ensuring an outcome is reached of what caused today's revolt.

Listen to the full interview in the audio below:


1 May 2017 4:23 PM