Mantashe: Numsa expulsion overall bad

ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe at a news conference following the expulsion of Numsa from the Congress of SA Trade Unions. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe at a news conference following the expulsion of Numsa from the Congress of SA Trade Unions. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Cape Town - Secretary general of the ANC Gwede Mantashe on Monday reaffirmed the ANC's position that the expulsion of Numsa is bad for Cosatu, the ANC, the alliance and society in general.

At a special media briefing he described Numsa's expulsion over the weekend from the union federation as disappointing and tragic.

Mantashe said the ANC doesn't believe that the challenges facing Cosatu are insurmountable nor the differences irreconcilable.

He  said the split between Numsa and Cosatu can never be celebrated, "it in fact calls upon all of us to work hard to find each other".

Read: Watershed moment for labour relations

"From its inception, Cosatu was established to advance worker solidarity in order to unite and organise workers and the working class to improve their conditions. Our view as the African National Congress is, and has always been, that we must support Cosatu in its historic mission to consolidate and advance worker unity.

"As such, as an organisation we will resist any temptation to engage in the current dispute characterised by mudslinging and insults against individuals or components of the Tripartite Alliance.

"We reaffirm our position that the expulsion of Numsa from the Federation is bad for the Cosatu itself, it is bad for the ANC, bad for the Alliance, the progressive forces as well as for society in general," said Mantashe.

Read: Unions support Numsa, but won't follow blindly

He said within this context and given the challenges faced by Cosatu, the ANC had established a task team led by the deputy president to mediate and assist to address some challenges facing Cosatu and the differences amongst its affiliates.

The task team met with all nineteen Cosatu affiliates.

Mantashe said the task team offered suggestions to Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC) to help deal with the conflict in the federation.

It suggested Numsa reverses its decision to extend its scope beyond its identified industry and subject itself to the discipline, principles and regulations of the federation.

Read: More unions quit Cosatu's exec body

To preserve unity, the task team also advised Cosatu to be sensitive to the political implications of the case facing its General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Mantashe said the ANC will continue to engage the federation to conduct a detailed analysis of the impact of the decision to expel Numsa.

"The ANC will further engage with all the affiliates with a view of consolidating unity."

Mantashe said  amid the hard work to find solutions, the alliance must be vigilant of any strategies and plans to destroy Cosatu at all costs. "The attacks on the ANC by Numsa are unfounded."

Read Fin24's live updates of the ANC addressing the media on Numsa's expulsion from Cosatu.

 - Fin24

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