Numsa to back Zuma, Motlanthe in Mangaung

2012-06-05 10:02

The leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) wants President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, to keep their positions in the ANC in December.

According to the secretariat report to be delivered by general secretary Irvin Jim, the union also wants the following leaders to be elected in Mangaung:

» Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, or another woman, or Makhenkesi Stofile as chairperson;
» Gwede Mantashe as general secretary;
» Baleka Mbete as deputy secretary-general;
» Mathews Phosa as treasurer-general.

Numsa is the second-biggest union within Cosatu and also the second to back the retention of Zuma as the head of the ANC.

The union secretariat report says union members would be encouraged to push for its preferred candidates when they nominate leadership candidates in party branches.

The document endorses Zuma’s proposal to the Numsa political commission earlier this year that more unionists should stand for election into the ANC national executive committee.

The report says while Numsa has enjoyed a good relationship, “we can boldly say we have had some difficulties at certain times with some key leaders of the ANC”.

Some of the comments can be read as a swipe at both Mantashe and SACP boss Blade Nzimande, who have openly disagreed with the union on issues such as the call for the nationalisation of mines, and the issue of key SACP leaders serving full time in government.

“We are convinced that our principled defence of a pro-working class ANC does not always sit comfortably with some leaders in the ANC, even when such leaders actually come from and are members and leaders of the SACP,” reads the report.

The report says Numsa has tried to secure a meeting with the leadership of the SACP, but this has failed.

“We have no problem with ordinary communists serving in any normal civil and state position. We are worried about the wholesale migration of the entire leadership of the SACP into government and Parliament,” says the report.

It says the SACP is weaker without Nzimande and provincial secretaries serving the party full time.

SACP members who serve in government, it says, are uncomfortable when unionists criticise government legitimately.

“Thus the impression created is that we can no longer criticise or strike or march against the government as doing so is equivalent to demonstrating against the ANC and being anti-government,” says the secretariat report.

Numsa president Cedric Gina and Jim have been elected unopposed to their positions yesterday.

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