Numsa won’t respond to Cosatu’s ultimatum

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa will not respond to Cosatu's ultimatum about whether the it should be suspended or expelled until it received certain documentation, the union said on Monday.

"There are certain things we have requested from Cosatu, such as the attendance register and the minutes [of the special central executive committee meeting]," spokesperson Castro Ngobese said.

"From where we are sitting, Numsa is not the first union of Cosatu to take a decision not to support the ANC … [Those unions were] never requested to explain themselves."

He said Numsa suspected that a faction within the Cosatu, led by president Sidumo Dlamini, intended ensuring the union was expelled from the trade union federation.

Cosatu and Numsa have been at loggerheads since general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended for having an affair with a junior employee.

Numsa and nine other Cosatu affiliates asked that Cosatu hold a special national congress. The special CEC denied this request earlier this month. The special CEC also decided to give Numsa an ultimatum following resolutions it had taken at its special congress last year. Cosatu wanted Numsa to explain why it should not be suspended or expelled. 

Numsa and eight other affiliates boycotted the special CEC. "We boycotted the special CEC because the meeting was used … to embarrass the general secretary of Cosatu [Vavi]. We remain firmly behind him," he said.

The union resolved at its congress in December not to support the ANC in the upcoming general elections.

Cosatu was holding a three-day CEC meeting in Johannesburg on Monday. Ngobese said Numsa was attending the meeting. – Sapa

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