Cosatu congress could collapse - Dlamini

2015-07-13 20:33

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Johannesburg - Cosatu's special national congress is in danger of collapsing after the entire day was spent debating credentials, which has delayed proceedings.

Delegates debated credentials in terms of how they should be voted on - by show of hands or special ballot.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the congress, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the meeting would not be able to continue if credentials were not adopted, however, he refused to pre-empt the outcome.

"Should the credentials be rejected, definitely you will realise that there is no meeting which can proceed. If credentials are accepted, it means we move onto the next item on the agenda which will probably be the adoption of the agenda itself," he said.

Dlamini said it was decided that the vote would be done by show of hands.

Earlier, delegates inside the congress said Dlamini himself had ruled on the show of hands vote. This was despite some unions - which included the affiliates which supported expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) - disagreeing.

NUM, under Frans Baleni, were seen to be part of the faction which wanted Vavi and Numsa out. However, under its new general secretary David Sipunzi, the union has seemed to change its tune.

The agenda

Sipunzi earlier said NUM believed that all issues which delegates wanted to debate should be allowed and that the central executive committee could not unilaterally decide on the agenda.

"It's unfortunate that people say what was decided by the CEC will remain the agenda and we are not going to accede to that."

When Dlamini asked if there was opposition to the show of hands vote, he answered curtly: "No."

He said the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) was preparing to facilitate the voting on credentials.

Delegates would show their accreditation tag for a yes vote.

"At the moment the IEC, which is set with the task of preparing for this vote are doing their work to prepare for that and delegates are just singing, showing each others interests," Dlamini said.

"Congress is still on. There is no way it has collapsed. I'm not a doomsayer. I'm not talking about the collapse of congress here, we are about building Cosatu here."

Delegates earlier were said to be calling for Cosatu second deputy president Zingiswa Losi and new metalworkers union Limusa to be excluded from congress.

Dlamini denied that these issues were being discussed, insisting that congress was debating whether to accept credentials.

Losi joined Dlamini when he addressed reporters. He said having her there showed that she was still part of congress.

Since the congress has spent all day on credentials it is not clear if it will conclude its work in the two days allocated.

"We are workers, we are here to work. Should we not finish the agenda, congress will have to guide how we deal with outstanding items."

Read more on:    cosatu  |  num  |  iec  |  numsa  |  johannesburg  |  cosatu congress

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