Numsa asks Cosatu not to kick it out

Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete. (Gallo)

Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete. (Gallo)

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) told Cosatu why it feels it should not be expelled, union president Andrew Chirwa said on Monday.

"We have complied with Cosatu's demand. We made a submission within the seven-day deadline," he said.

Cosatu and Numsa have been at loggerheads following the suspension of Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Numsa wants Vavi's suspension to be lifted and has led eight other unions in calling for a special Cosatu national conference.

"A group within Cosatu is running away from its constituency. They refuse a special national conference. I wonder where do they get a mandate?"

He said Numsa was a critical component of Cosatu and a founding member, and that Cosatu's central committee had turned into a sex tribunal.

"They spend a year discussing sex scandals ... They are preoccupied with sex scandals to the extent that they violated the Cosatu constitution.

"The master plan is to paralyse Cosatu and get rid of Vavi and expel Numsa."

Special congress
Numsa resolved at its special national congress in December that it would not support the ANC or fund its election campaign.

It has called on Cosatu to pull out of the tripartite alliance with the ANC and the South African Communist Party.

Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said the union had submitted a 54-page document to Cosatu explaining why it should not be suspended or expelled.

"I hope they read each page," he said. Cloete claimed that Cosatu, ANC, and SACP leaders were entering sectors where Numsa operated, ostensibly to campaign for the May 7 election.

However, they were actually influencing Numsa members to revolt against the union.

He said there was a plan to establish another metalworkers' union.

"Cosatu knows there must be a metalworkers [union] within the federation when Numsa is expelled." – Sapa

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