|September 17, 2007
Union endorses Zuma
South Africa's powerful trade union federation, Cosatu, has formally endorsed Jacob Zuma to lead the governing African National Congress. Cosatu's central committee called on its members to vote for Zuma at the ANC's conference in December. The move is seen as a blow to Thabo Mbeki who wants to remain ANC leader after he steps down as president. The ANC responded with a statement expressing its "unequivocal rejection of this totally unacceptable attempt to tell the ANC how it should constitute its leadership". The statement continued: "We call on the entirety of our membership to firmly reject this arrogant attempt to usurp their right to choose the leadership of their organisation."
Mr Mbeki has fallen out of favour with both Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Communist Party, in effect the ANC's junior partners, over his economic policies.