Last bid for Numsa to reclaim Cosatu

2015-07-12 17:17
Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake

Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake

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Johannesburg - While Cosatu has made it clear it has no intentions of allowing a debate or discussion about the reinstatement of Numsa or its former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, Numsa was hopeful that other unions affiliated to Cosatu would be powerful enough to see them reinstated into the trade union federation.

"We request that every delegate in this congress boldly and freely demand that Numsa be returned and Comrade Zweli reinstated in his position. Anything short of this will see the end of Cosatu," said Numsa General Secretary Karl Cloete.  

He was addressing a media on Sunday ahead of the Cosatu special national  (SNC) conference starting on Monday.

Cloete issued a word of caution to delegates who would be attending the two-day meeting starting on Monday. 

"Kindly also remember that if S'dumo [Dlamini, Cosatu president] and his friends and backers in the ANC and SACP can do what they have done to Numsa and Zweli, and get away with it, they can always repeat this to any affiliate and leader of the Cosatu. You may be next," said Cloete. 

He said history was expected to be made at the SNC, which will be convening following a call from nine Cosatu-affiliated unions.

"Probably we must accept this would be the last attempt to reclaim Cosatu," Cloete said, adding everything they had done was in accordance with the mandate from its workers "to reclaim Cosatu at all cost". 

Numsa was booted from Cosatu last November after it failed to support the ANC in the last general elections. This went against Cosatu's constitution.

Vavi was expelled as the federation’s general secretar after a special Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting decided he was guilty of gross misconduct.

Although Numsa seemed keen on rejoining Cosatu, it was very vocal about the grievances it had with the trade union federation. 

The union lashed out at Dlamini. 


"The wolves in the guise of S'dumo Dlamini and his friends want to lead Cosatu to the slaughterhouse - in the working class killing fields of the rightwing leaders of the ANC and SACP," Cloete said, adding that the federation was not a private vehicle for Dlamini, his friends and backers of the ANC and SACP. 

He appealed to delegates of different unions who were invited to the Cosatu's SNC's to support an agenda that seeks to unify and strengthen the unity of the working class and build genuine organisations of the working class. 

While it seemed that Numsa expected a lot of action at the SNC, Cloete rubbished claims that they had a budget in place for purposes to disrupt the SNC. 

Numsa president  Andrew Chirwa took a swipe at the SA Communist Party. 

Its general secretary, Blade Nzimande has in the past criticised the union accusing it of using "dirty money." 

Chirwa however, said Numsa was unapologetic about receiving international funding and instead called on he SACP to settle its bill of R89 000 with them. 

He expressed concern over the "militarisation" of the SNC, adding that they feared it would be Parliament and people would be removed by the police.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  johannesburg  |  labour

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