Numsa unanimously elects new president

2013-12-17 14:32

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Metalworkers' union Numsa has unanimously elected Andrew Chirwa as its new president on the first day of its four-day conference.

Chirwa replaces Cedric Gina, who resigned last month after apparently being uncomfortable with the union's anti-Cosatu stance and its calling of a conference to decide whether to break away from the labour federation.

Chirwa was first vice-president of Numsa and was nominated unanimously.

Christine Oliver, who was second vice-president was elected to take his place, while Numsa KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Basil Cele was elected second vice-president.

The election of the new leadership seems to consolidate Numsa's anti-Cosatu stance and it seems to strengthen its intentions to break away from Cosatu during this week's four-day conference.

Chirwa, in his opening speech this morning, accused Cosatu of being used by right-wing capitalists to fight the socialists revolution, and he said a party to protect workers was needed because the SACP could no longer be trusted.

He also said the Numsa conference should consider calling on President Jacob Zuma to resign because of the Nkandla saga.

Cele is one of the leaders who was at the forefront of leading a rebellion against Cosatu's anti-etoll and anti-labour broker protests last month, and he also criticised Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini for not wanting to call a special Cosatu conference to decide on the suspension of labour federation general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Vavi was suspended after it came to light that he had had sex with a woman he appointed to Cosatu.

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