Numsa thought it was bigger than Cosatu – Dlamini

2015-07-14 12:44

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Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini took a swipe at expelled union Numsa as his opening address drew to an end, saying their egos got the better of them. 

Addressing the special national congress in Midrand on the second day, he said Numsa was attacking the trade union federation and they needed to stop allowing it. He added that Cosatu was bigger than one union and the federation should not allow itself to be a slave to any union, especially those affiliates who called themselves allies of Numsa. 

He also took a swipe at those unions for having abstained from voting last night on credentials. 

“Free yourself, free yourself,” he said to much applause from most of the delegates and rumbles of disagreement from Sasawu, Fawu and some Saccawu members. 

“If you do not heed that call, then blame yourself, don’t blame anyone else. Free yourself.” 

Dlamini pulled no punches as he also cautioned workers against their general secretaries whom he said were often found to be leading them astray. 

This was seen to be an indirect swipe at newly elected NUM general secretary David Siphunzi who was one of the people at the special congress who vehemently called for Numsa and Vavi to return into the Cosatu fold. 

Dlamini then warned Nehawu, the now biggest union in the federation, to guard against getting to the point where they think of themselves as bigger than the organisation. 

“Those who are saying there can be no unity in Cosatu without S’dumo, they are wrong. Those who say there can be no unity in Cosatu without NUM, they are wrong. Once you approach unity in that fashion you have removed the organisation Cosatu and made individuals the centre. No ways. 

“This is what has allowed for expulsion of an affiliate. Nehawu, now that you are the biggest union in the organisation, it should not get into your head and make you think you are bigger than the organisation. You have grown your union but it does not mean you are wiser than everybody. That is why we made a decision to expel one of us.” 

He also suggested that should Numsa be willing to change their current line of thinking, a conversation with them may be re-opened at the next congress. 

“Blame us and say we expelled 300 000 odd members. We didn’t do that; we protected the organisation from cannibalism against one other union. If they change their ways and come back and say we have changed our ways, at the next congress we will entertain them.” 

As he left the stage, many of the highly charged delegates were on their feet singing, “solidarity forever,” while the smaller group of Vavi and Numsa supporters waved the federation’s constitution in protest.

Read more on:    numsa  |  sdumo dlamini  |  cosatu special national congress

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