The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called on President Jacob Zuma to resign.
During a press briefing following its special central executive committee (CEC) meeting at the weekend, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the union federation, a key member of the tripartite alliance, came to the conclusion that Zuma must step down.
Ntshalintshali said Cosatu no longer believed he was the right person to lead the tripartite alliance, but it was still dedicated to the alliance.
BREAKING: Cosatu calls for Zuma to go: "Zuma is no longer the right person to lead the country... the time has come for him to step down"— Simon Allison (@simonallison) April 4, 2017
The CEC was convened after Zuma's controversial Cabinet reshuffle last week, in which he removed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and replaced him with Malusi Gigaba, former home affairs minister.
Ntshalintshali said Zuma had made an "undeniable" contribution to the movement and the government, but Cosatu no longer believed in his leadership ability.
COSATU says Zuma's "inattentive and negligent leadership" is the reason for South Africa's fall into junk status— Geoffrey York (@geoffreyyork) April 4, 2017
Zuma called Cosatu leadership on Tuesday morning to discuss its call for him to step down, reported News24:
Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini told journalists that Zuma had called him on Tuesday asking for a meeting with Cosatu leaders.
He said while he appreciated the importance of the call he had hoped that Zuma would have called on Thursday afternoon to consult with Cosatu before he announced his Cabinet reshuffle.
On Monday, ratings agency Standard & Poor's stripped South Africa of its investment grade rating and downgraded the country to junk status.
Ntshalintshali said during the briefing it was not supporting calls for regime change "that wants to topple ANC from power".
"We will never march with the [Democratic Alliance] and its friends," the alliance partner's leader said.
A campaign surfaced on social media at the weekend, calling on South Africans to take part in a national shutdown on April 7 in protest of the reshuffle and Gordhan's removal.