Gina's resignation politically motivated, says Numsa's Jim

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. (Gallo)

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. (Gallo)

Numsa's general secretary Irvin Jim said on Tuesday that Cedric Gina?'s resignation was suspicious.

"We are not fools. We can see that this is a mobilisation ploy and the president wants to play a victim so that in the special congress workers must come there mobilised against ... this autocratic Irvin Jim who's violent," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The truth of the matter is ... we think there is a political agenda. There are people out there voting within the [South African Communist Party] and [ANC] who are extremely worried about [Numsa]'s political position."

Numsa handed a copy of Gina's resignation letter to journalists on Tuesday.

In the letter, Gina said he had to end his working relationship with Jim before it turned violent.

Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said Gina had not sent his resignation letter to the union's national office bearers, but had e-mailed it to the union's 52 local offices.

This was seen as a ploy.

"We suspect that this bizarre way of communicating his resignation may have to do with seeking sympathy or mobilising rank and file support to bring divisions through his unexpected resignation," he said.

"What confirms this suspicion is the fact that comrade Gina's media statements suggest that he shall await the decision of 'Numsa structures' on his resignation."

Cloete said Numsa wanted to take the opportunity to announce that Gina was no longer the union's president.

Gina had removed himself from the position.

"We wish to advise all Numsa members and Numsa structures ... [the effect of] comrade Cedric Gina's removal from office by his own resignation is that no individual in Numsa, or constitutional structure or organ of Numsa can reinstate [him]," he said.

Jim said it needed to be asked why Gina was behaving in this way.

"I must admit, knowing Cedric, it's very difficult to believe that this is [him] who speaks.

"He sounds like somebody who's accounting somewhere else ... The level of desperation of whoever [he is meeting] ... is at the centre of this political process."

It seemed Gina had other political aspirations, and that Numsa's current political posture was not favourable, said Jim.

"What can you do? The best way is to demonstrate to both the ANC and the SACP that I'm doing my best to fight Numsa's political position, and I think the president has just done that with his political career," he said.

Good relationship
In his resignation letter, Gina said he had had a good relationship with Jim until last year.

"We campaigned together, we agreed politically on key issues, until one meeting towards Mangaung where he shocked me," Gina wrote.

"I tolerated [it], hoping it was just as he told me later when I confronted him; just an unmandated reflection that he was making in that situation."

Gina claimed to have protected Jim in certain situations.

This included when Numsa's national executive committee insisted Jim accept nomination to the ANC's national executive committee (NEC).

"He defied the NEC. I took the flak and protected his defiance," he wrote.

On another occasion, Gina said he refused to sign the Absa relationship deal when certain issues were not clear, and Jim "shouted at me like I was his child".

"I later signed the deal for the sake of the working relationship," he said.

On August 19 2011, Numsa announced a five-year partnership with Absa.

This would give the union's members access to mortgage and vehicle finance, and savings and investment services.

Jim said Numsa had not anticipated Gina's resignation. However there were no hard feelings. Gina remained a Numsa member and a shop steward.

'Last resort'
Jim said later on Tuesday that a decision to leave Cosatu will be a last resort for the Numsa .

"It's one of the options that's being debated," he told reporters in Johannesburg. "I guess if you can get married, you can get divorced."

A discussion document about the Numsa decision to leave the Cosatu was leaked to a Sunday newspaper.

Jim said the document would be discussed at Numsa's special conference next month. "There is no need for speculation. There is no decision that Numsa is moving away from Cosatu. It's one of the options that's being debated."

Special congress
Last week, Numsa claimed it was being treated unfairly by Cosatu after calling for a special national congress.

ine of Cosatu's 19 affiliates called for a special national congress after Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was placed on special leave in August for having an affair with a junior employee.

In September, Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini said Vavi did not feature in the unions' reasons for calling the special congress.

Numsa has lodged an application in the high court in Johannesburg challenging Vavi's suspension.

Cosatu, after its three-day central executive committee meeting last week, asked Numsa to withdraw its court challenge. – Sapa

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