Workers' Day this year (1st May 2017) became interesting from a political perspective after Cosatu's event was cancelled due to attendees booing and disrupting proceedings to stop President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders from speaking and delivering their speeches.
What is more intriguing is that Cosatu's size makes it massively influential in the tripartite alliance, that is the ANC, Cosatu and SACP. Which brings political analysts, journalists, critics and the everyday South African to this question: Will Zuma continue to be President of the ANC and of South Africa despite the growing opposition against him within South Africa and his own political party and its alliance?
Political maneuveringhas become a common characteristic in Zuma's political game, one he uses to avoid being held accountable or being transparent to South Africans. Since his last cabinet reshuffle, Zuma has faced calls to step down from various groups in civil society ranging from the NGOs such as SaveSA to opposition parties and the common South African citizen. The #ZumaMustFall movement grew to new heights and even reached the shores of foreign states in their newspapers and headlines. Instead of apologising or explaining his decision, Zuma used the political "race card" to cause division and blamed his opposition for being racist; this was another political maneuver by Jacob Zuma once again.
However, the message to Jacob Zuma could not become any clearer when members of his own party and its alliance began to speak out against him and his recent actions. Undoubtedly, Zuma's actions have built up unrest and unhappiness within his political party and unfortunately, many ethical and moral leaders in the ANC have been silenced by Zuma's allies. Respected leaders and compatriots such as Makhosi Khoza, Mcebisi Jonas and Barbara Hogan have all expressed their disappointment about the lack of accountability, transparency and responsibility within the top ANC ranks, pointing out Zuma directly and indirectly. Not only are leaders rising up to challenge Zuma's unethical leadership, but those on the grass roots level are challenging him too; ANC, Cosatu and SACP members have been caught booing the President and his allies at gatherings and events, and the Gauteng ANC branch and Cosatu Western Cape branch have both expressed their disdain for Zuma.
Perhaps the most interesting debate to come is the vote of no confidence which is going to take place in parliament sometime this month. Opposition parties are more united than ever before on a motion and what is more intriguing is that the United Democratic Movement (UDM) is currently fighting for a secret ballot vote in the Constitutional Court. If a secret ballot is allowed, then Jacob Zuma may face the wrath of disgruntled, unhappy ANC members, many of them being SACP and Cosatu members, and of course, will face the wrath of opposition parties.
Either way, the members within the ANC are beginning to realise that Zuma's leadership (or lack thereof) has caused a decline in membership and votes, and may ultimately hamper the ANC's chances of regaining an outright majority come 2019. Thus, it is imperative for the ANC to make necessary adjustments to its leadership and its policies in order to gain the support and loyalty of the South African people again and they need to begin with the figurehead of corruption in the party who has caused this decline: Jacob Zuma. If they do not do this anytime soon, then they will find themselves losing support drastically and a new political party, or coalition, may form the next government in 2019.