Numsa reconsiders ties with Cosatu, support with ANC

2013-08-16 13:48

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The leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will debate whether it should continue its affiliation with Cosatu and review its support for the ANC at its special congress in December.

Numsa president Cedric Gina said they would give a full report to the special union congress in December.

This follows the decision of the Cosatu leadership to suspend federation general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for bringing the organisation into disrepute.

The union said it needed to take a mandate from its members following a year in which Cosatu has been wracked by infighting, and the resolutions of the federation’s 2012 congress had taken a back seat.

“We need to report to the congress because some of the things that are happening are too big for us to take a decision on … We had the feeling that there may be decisions that we may take but we risk not taking the membership on board,” he said.

Asked if the congress would also discuss their support for the ANC, Numsa secretary-general Irvin Jim said: “Everything will be up for debate. I am saying everything.”

The union also accused the ANC and the SA Communist Party of hatching plans to break up Cosatu to turn it into a weak federation.

Jim said they had not seen any benefit of having Cosatu members serving in the ANC national executive committee.

He said those members, which he did not name, were also involved in attempts to fragment Cosatu, and frustrate its campaigns.

“Both in the ANC and in the Communist Party there are forces that are hellbent on working 24 hours with those in Cosatu to ensure that Cosatu will be made a lapdog, which will not have the capacity to take forward the interests of the working class.

“As Numsa, we are not willing to stand by and allow that to happen,” Jim said.

Numsa leaders said they will continue to seek legal advice on the constitutionality of Wednesday’s meeting to suspend Vavi.

Numsa deputy secretary Carl Cloete said national security was being used in the Cosatu battle, and this would become clear in time.

“We are certain that there is a political conspiracy… What is the intention of those who are now using state machinery to orchestrate a campaign against the leadership of Cosatu? We think it is not innocent. There is a conspiracy,” he said.

He said Jim was the next.

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