Numsa 'letdown' by Cosatu head

2013-08-16 21:42
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. (Picture: Sapa)

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Cosatu affiliate Numsa has lost confidence in the trade union federation president Sidumo Dlamini's leadership, general secretary Irvin Jim said on Friday.

"He is basically not representing all Cosatu affiliates. It has nothing to do with the fact that we don’t like him and so forth," Jim told reporters in Johannesburg.

"He has not demonstrated that he has got the interest of uniting the federation. From where we are sitting, if you look at our political posture as a federation, we did not emerge with anything from Mangaung."

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) is the biggest trade union affiliated to the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

Turning to the suspension of embattled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, Jim said there had been previous sustained campaigns to remove Vavi.

"We think that in both the ANC [African National Congress] and the [SA] Communist Party there are forces who are hell-bent, working 24 hours, working with those in Cosatu, to ensure that Cosatu will be made a lapdog," he said.

"As Numsa, we are not willing to stand by and allow that to happen."

Asked why he would not identify the individuals behind the alleged conspiracy against people including himself and Vavi, Jim said the plot would be exposed.

"We are not necessarily beautiful people, but we have been the centre of focus, that is a fact. We know that there is an agenda that will stop at nothing until it liquidates us. I don’t think we need to promise you anything, but within no time it [the plot] will be exposed."

Special congress

Jim said numerous Cosatu affiliates wanted a special congress so that the union federation could get out of the crisis it was in.

"Especially now, we don’t think we are going to have a solution around the corner. If there is something that is very glaring, it is that for the federation to get out of the crisis, it must go to a special congress," he said.

"As we speak, across our nine regions, our members are up in arms about the suspension of Zwelinzima Vavi. They want Zweli back into the office and as Numsa national leadership we have no other agenda than to do that."

Jim said all Cosatu affiliates shared this sentiment.

 Earlier, Jim said Numsa did not recognise Cosatu's decision to suspend Vavi.

He reiterated that the Cosatu central executive committee (CEC) meeting held on Wednesday was unconstitutional.

"Numsa does not recognise the decision of the unconstitutional CEC and is consulting its lawyers about this matter," Jim said.

Disciplinary hearing

Cosatu announced on Thursday that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair he had with a junior Cosatu employee.

"[Vavi] has been released from all his official duties as the general secretary during this period of investigation until such a time that the outcome of the [disciplinary] hearing is known," deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.

Dlamini said Vavi was put on special leave after the special CEC meeting.

Last month, a junior Cosatu employee accused Vavi of rape.

He admitted to having a consensual affair with her.

The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  numsa  |  sidumo dlamini  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  irvin jim  |  johannesburg

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