Numsa leadership holding special meeting to discuss interdicted congress

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National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa members demonstrating in Johannesburg.
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa members demonstrating in Johannesburg.
Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • The National Union of Metalworkers will hold a special central committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Labour Court interdict on their national congress.
  • The court also invalidated the suspension of 31 officials.
  • The union was expected to hold its first national congress to elect national leadership since 2016.
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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's leadership (Numsa) is set to hold a special central committee (SCC) meeting in Cape Town on Tuesday after the Labour Court in Johannesburg interdicted the union's national congress from taking place this week.

According to a notice to the union's national office bearers, which Fin24 has seen, Numsa general-secretary Irvin Jim will address the meeting.

"Notice is hereby given of a Numsa special central committee meeting to be convened at 08:00 on Tuesday 26 July 2022 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre as we all know that the court has interdicted our eleventh national congress.

"The national office bearers have decided to convene an SCC to discuss all matters relating to the court order," the notice said.

READ | Over 50 officials banned from Numsa conference as shop steward drama worsens

The court also declared the suspension of the second deputy president Ruth Ntlokotse and 30 other union officials "unconstitutional, invalid, and unenforceable in law".

Ntlokotse told the Labour Court in an urgent application that she was suspended as a way of sidelining her from participating in the conference and running for the position of Numsa president.

Numsa did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Fin24 on Monday morning. Small groups of delegates could be seen gathering at the Cape Town ICC for the congress early on Monday morning. They told Fin24 that many delegates were already on their way to Cape Town when the Labour Court made its decision. 

The Numsa national congress that was meant to begin this Monday would have been the first congress of its kind for the union since December of 2016.

READ | Suspended Numsa officials head to court to lift sanctions or halt crucial conference

If the Labour Court ruling is honoured, Ntlokotse will likely run for Numsa president against Mac Chavalala, whom she defeated at the congress of Numsa's umbrella federation, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), in May for the position of Saftu president.

Numsa is the largest private sector union in the country with over 338 000 members.

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