Numsa concerned by alliance 'attacks'

2013-08-31 19:04
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. (Picture: Sapa)

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Numsa is worried about being the target of attacks by leaders of the tripartite alliance, the trade union says.

"The Numsa central committee noted with serious concern that the recent Popcru political school was used by the ANC secretary general and the SACP general secretary to launch a factional attack on Numsa," the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said in a statement.

"The democratic right of Numsa to convene a special national congress... was rubbished by these two senior leaders of the national liberation movement with all sorts of insinuations and threats made against Numsa and its leadership."

Numsa released its statement after holding a special central committee (CC) meeting on Thursday.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said at the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) political school last Wednesday that the Cosatu needed to focus on its principles,

"Once you close your eyes to those fundamental principles you are going to see the battles that are running now...Those battles are a function of many things."

Mantashe said one of those things was the development of personalities in the trade union federation.

"When you begin to worship individuals then you are going to kill the thing [Cosatu]."

Cosatu has been divided following allegations of rape against its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, and his suspension.

Cosatu announced earlier in the month that Vavi had been put on special leave pending outcomes of a disciplinary hearing into an affair he had with a junior employee.

Last month, a junior Cosatu employee accused Vavi of rape. He denied this, saying they had an affair.

The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Lack of confidence

Numsa expressed its lack of confidence in Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini following the suspension of Vavi. It reportedly said it would consider leaving Cosatu.

SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said at the political school last Thursday that any union that was thinking of leaving Cosatu would first have to deal with the SACP.

"Those who are planning to do so, they are part of the enemy that wants to destroy our revolution. There can be no problem that is bigger than the unity of Cosatu."

Numsa said on Friday that its "vanguard" which was meant to unite the working class had taken a "factional" approach to the crises in Cosatu.

"In the coming week Numsa shall release a very detailed response to the sentiments expressed by the ANC SG and SACP GS tracing the origins and reasons for the insults made against Numsa."

Numsa said that its CC mandated the union's office bearers to challenge the special Cosatu meeting where Vavi's fate was decided and his subsequent suspension.

"The Numsa national office bearers have set in motion the legal processes and shall comment more fully thereon in due cause."

Vavi has vowed to challenge the suspension.

Read more on:    popcru  |  sacp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  numsa  |  sidumo dlamini  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  gwede mantashe  |  blade nzimande  |  johannesburg

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