Saftu welcomes Zuma's resignation

Johannesburg - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) on Thursday morning welcomed the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma, saying it was long overdue.

Zuma resigned late on Wednesday night.

He is the second consecutive African National Congress president to resign as head of state, after former president Thabo Mbeki stepped down in 2008.

"Zuma betrayed the working class of this country. He conned many into believing that he had the working class' interests in his heart, but he proved through his actions that he is the most self-centred and self-serving leader only concerned about his self-preservation," general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in a statement.

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Vavi said that despite Zuma's exit, the realities faced by the working class remained.

"Unemployment was a huge problem during the colonial and apartheid era; it is a problem that worsened under the 24 years of the ANC rule," Vavi said.  

Union 'encouraged' by arrests

Saftu also noted that Zuma left office with the country's unemployment rate at 26.7%.

"This alone underlined the correctness of the Saftu position that we have an ANC problem and not necessarily a Zuma problem per se. Zuma is a creation of the ANC, not the other way around," Vavi added.

He said poverty remained a concern in the country.

However, the union was "encouraged" by the recent activities of the Hawks.

On Wednesday morning, the Hawks arrested five people during raids on various Gupta compounds.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said at the time that the suspects were arrested in connection with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy farm project.

One Gupta brother and a business associate are among those arrested and more arrests are imminent, News24 understands.

They are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Thursday.

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