If Numsa doesn’t cooperate, serve divorce papers – Satawu

2013-11-29 15:40

Cosatu and the tripartite alliance should continue trying to convince the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa to toe the line, failing which it should serve “divorce papers”, says Satawu.

Addressing the media in Braamfontein, Joburg, following a central executive committee meeting, secretary of the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union Zenzo Mahlangu said: “We should persuade Numsa to the last degree but if it all fails we must serve divorce papers.”

This comes amid heavy speculation that Numsa, under the leadership of its firebrand secretary Irvin Jim, is preparing to leave Cosatu.

However, Jim this week said leaving the labour federation would be a last resort.

Numsa will host a special congress next month where the union’s future will be discussed.

The divisions within Cosatu were caused by the federation’s decision to suspend its secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi in August. Vavi was suspended after admitting that he had had sex with a junior employee at work. However, Vavi’s supporters, like Jim, believe Vavi is being purged for his critical views of the alliance.

Of late, Vavi had been critical of President Jacob Zuma’s administration because of corruption, among other things. He had also attacked the SA Communist Party’s secretary and Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, accusing him of falling into the trappings of power and forsaking the working class.

Mahlangu said Numsa had defied many of Cosatu’s principles by, for example, poaching from other unions.

Mahlangu, who has aligned himself with the faction against Vavi, said Satawu’s decision to throw its weight behind Cosatu should not be seen as support for the federation’s president, S’dumo Dlamini.

“We are not a block supporting S’dumo. We support Cosatu,” he said, adding that Vavi should still subject himself to a disciplinary hearing.

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