Jim: Numsa won't convert to a 'political party'

Numsa general secretary, Irvin Jim says Numsa will not convert to a political party. (Nicolene Olckers, Gallo)

Numsa general secretary, Irvin Jim says Numsa will not convert to a political party. (Nicolene Olckers, Gallo)

“Numsa is and will remain a trade union, inspired by Marxism Leninism. It will not convert itself into a political party,” he told delegates at its United Front assembly in Kempton Park, on the East Rand.

He said Numsa saw itself playing a lead role in the formation of the United Front, which was formed last year to resist, fight and defeat the system of private greed. 

“We have, therefore, invited all of you gathered in this important assembly to help shape this important journey we must undertake together.” 

He said the working class were not the political property of either the ANC or the SA Communist Party (SACP).

“Their [working class] presence in the ANC and SACP is premised on the sole fact that these organisations are able to protect and advance the class interests of the working class.”

He said both organisations no longer champion the interests of the working class or socialism.

He said the dream for a new post-1994 South Africa in which all people live with equality was dead.

“Our call for a united front of the working class and a movement for socialism is precisely a defence of the national democratic programme, the Freedom Charter, which remains the only programme that is capable of laying the basis for socialist transformation of South African society,” said Jim.

ANC has good people
Eyewitness News reported that Numsa believes there are still good people in the ANC. “There are still good people in the ANC, not like Blade Nzimande. We must work to attract them to the United Front,” Numsa deputy secretary Karl Cloete reportedly said at the assembly.

The United Front was established to fight for working-class issues, and was due to be launched this weekend.
However it was changed to an assembly.

Jim clarified that the aim of the assembly was to “define” its agenda. “We resolved to use this weekend with all working class organisations, who are working with us to basically debate and define the agenda and make sure that all people over the country ... have formed themselves into a united front.”

Numsa president Andrew Chirwa re-iterated that the United Front was not a political party, but would help build a “true democracy”.

Numsa was expelled from Cosatu last month and could appeal at the next national congress due to be held in September next year. – Sapa

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