Open Mangaung debate: Cosatu unions

2012-09-20 16:06
Irvin Jim (File, Sapa)

Irvin Jim (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Cosatu affiliates at its national congress called for a discussion on the ANC's leadership issue on Thursday.

National Union of Metalworkers' of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said the issue of Mangaung, where leaders will be elected in December, was a "hot potato".

"As the metalworkers, we know many of us have campaigned and said so much about Mangaung," Jim told delegates in Midrand, Johannesburg.

"With humility we are persuading the federation... that we must reflect on Mangaung."

Numsa was supporting the SA Democratic Teachers Union's (Sadtu) proposal that the congress discussed its options for the African National Congress' leadership.

Jim said it was an important matter and there would not be another time when Cosatu delegates would be together.

"We second that a discussion must be taken here," he said.

But Cosatu deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the congress was busy with the socio-economic report and not political matters.

"We can't in the middle of discussing [the] socio-economic report decide to bring this up."

Discussions on Cosatu's political report were moved to its central executive committee and Ntshalintshali, who was chairing the session, said that decision had already been taken and it was not the time to revisit it.

The National Union of Mines (NUM) agreed with Ntshalintshali.

"If Numsa wants to open the discussion on leadership they must say so clearly," a NUM delegate said.

Ntshalintshali put a stop to the discussion, saying the issue had passed.

The SA Municipal Workers' Union asked congress to adopt the summary on the socio-economic report and police union Popcru seconded it.

Jim was seen leaving the congress hall. When approached for comment he said: "I will comment later - I want to see this debate through."

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