Axed Numsa vows to attend Cosatu special congress

2015-05-12 10:07


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has vowed to not be excluded from a long-awaited Special National Congress which Cosatu was ordered by a court yesterday to convene in mid-July. 

Following agreement between both parties, the South Gauteng High Court issued a declaratory order that the congress be held from 13-14 July. The order was made after Numsa and seven allies approached the court in a battle that has raged for almost two years. 

The order was hailed as a “principled” victory for Numsa and its allies who have been at loggerheads with Cosatu’s leadership under President Sdumo Dlamini. The executive expelled Numsa last November and axed general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in March. 

But Cosatu described the order as a “hollow” victory, saying that the labour federation had already decided in November that the congress would go ahead, and final logistics were being made at the Central Executive Committee meeting on May 25. Accusing Numsa of leading a “disinformation campaign”, it said in a statement: “We agreed on the out of court settlement because we respect our own constitution and we did so in the spirit of working for the unity of the federation.” 

Cosatu also insisted that the congress would go ahead without Numsa, which it said was a “non-affiliate” of the federation. 

The next battle is set to take place with Numsa challenging its suspension in court, with a date expected to be set next Monday. 

Yesterday’s order paved the way for Vavi and Numsa to be reinstated at the congress and a new executive to be elected, said labour commentator Terry Bell. “The order shows that the rule of law still applies. According to the constitution, the executive may expel an affiliate or officer bearer, but it is only a recommendation. It needs to be ratified or overturned by a congress. The key is that, in line with the constitution, members need to decide.” 

Numsa general-secretary Irvin Jim said the order had affirmed the superiority of Cosatu’s constitution. “We have a responsibility to fight now to make sure that when it takes place, Numsa will take part.” 

Food and Allied Workers Union general secretary Katishi Masemola said that the executive could not “come up with excuses” to delay the congress anymore. “[Obtaining the order] was a matter of principle. The congress is an opportunity for the rank and file to decide on the choice of leadership that has to emerge and to come up with a package for unity and stability in Cosatu.” 

If the Vavi and Numsa expulsions had not been resolved by then, these too would be on the agenda, he said. The eight unions will meet over three days from today to strategise.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  trade unions

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.