Jacob Zuma was on the receiving end as he experienced rejection from Cosatu members at a Workers’ Day event in Bloemfontein yesterday.
Members of Cosatu affiliate unions NUM, Sadtu and Nehawu chanted: “Zuma se moer, Zuma must fall, voetsek.”
Some carried placards reading: “Cosatu is dividing us. Declared that JZ cannot lead the country. But today they invite him to address. Who is fooling who?”
The ANC alliance partner Cosatu hosted May Day celebrations across the country yesterday. The Bloemfontein event ended in chaos as persistent outcry & anti-Zuma singing drowned out the convenors on stage. A brawl between Zuma supporters and opponents forced the organisers to call the entire event off.
Zuma who was scheduled to deliver the keynote address at Loch Logan Park, Bloemfontein, sat with a glum look over his face as the crowds continued their frenzy. Several Cosatu unions had earlier said that Zuma should be asked not to attend the event in light of the federation’s call for him to step down as president.
At 8am, a fence was erected to separate the crowd from a small stage in a corner of the park, and plainclothes police and security officials were circulating, checking under every rock.
By 11am, the park had started filling up. A long queue formed at the main entrance, where bags were put through X-ray scanners and guards made sure that everyone passed between metal detectors.
By 1pm, a large group was pressed up against the fence, screaming, singing and chanting: “Zuma must go.”
They were held back by men and women dressed in ANC-branded clothing, while a line of police officers with riot shields formed up on the other side of the fence.
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In Durban, KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress chairperson and ANC NEC member Baleka Mbete were also interrupted as they addressed the rally.
Source Inputs: TimesLIVE, eNCA