01/09/2017 11:51 SAST | Updated 01/09/2017 13:23 SAST

Jacob Zuma Is The 'Most Polarising Figure' South Africa Has Seen In The Past Decade -- Cosatu

"Jacob Zuma is the president South Africa does not need."

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Cosatu taking part in a nationwide strike in Johannesburg in 2015. Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Trade union federation Cosatu on Friday demanded that President Jacob Zuma step down because he is the "most polarising figure South Africa has had in the last 10 years".

"He is the liability"Sizwe Pamla Cosatu

"Jacob Zuma is the president South Africa does not need. He is a liability. He is the most polarising figure in the last 10 years," Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla told HuffPost SA.

He said it was not just about getting rid of Zuma, but restoring the country's economy and its dreadful unemployment rate.

"This is not just a Cosatu strike, it's not just the members who will be paying the price of state capture, but the whole country, we are all in this together," he said.

Cosatu intends to bring the country's city centres to its knees on September 27 when it embarks on a nationwide march against state capture.

Pamla said the objective of the strike was to demand a thorough investigation into state capture and those involved in it, including "Number 1" [Zuma]. Cosatu said all nine provinces would be involved.

"We represent the 11 million [Cosatu members] who cannot keep up with the economic climate. Treasury has allowed this mess to happen, the amount of money that is being taken out of the country is a problem".

Cosatu said it decided on a strike because government was moving at a slow pace in acting against corruption and protecting the working class.

The federation said it stood behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma.

Zuma has been accused of involvement in state capture, and leaked emails between the Gupta family and its employees revealed how the family managed to obtain business from senior government officials. Zuma and several ministers have been accused of sharing state information with the Guptas.