Kick out Numsa’s stink­ing corpse – Nz­i­mande

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BON­GANI HANS

THE NA­TIONAL Union of Me­tal­work­ers of South Africa was a “stink­ing corpse” that needed to be kicked out of the Cosatu “house”, the ra­zor­tongued SACP gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande said in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

“If you keep a corpse in the house with­out bury­ing it, it will rot and smell,” he told a Cosatu gath­er­ing at the City Hall.

At the same time that meet­ing was un­der way, Numsa sup­port­ers were at the Coast­land Ho­tel in Dur­ban de­bat­ing how to get Cosatu to re­verse its decision to ex­pel it from the fed­er­a­tion.

The Numsa meet­ing said it was plan­ning a “Cosatu Bring Back Numsa” cam­paign that would bring Dur­ban to a halt.

Both Cosatu and Numsa called their meet­ings “provin- cial shop stew­ards coun­cils”.

Tri­par­tite al­liance top brass in­clud­ing Cosatu pres­i­dent S’dumo Dlamini, SACP provin­cial chair­man and eThekwini mayor James Nx­u­malo, KwaZulu-Natal Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and Deputy Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Bheki Cele took turns at the city hall to com­mend Cosatu’s decision to sack Numsa.

But Numsa, whose meet­ing was at­tended by its provin­cial lead­ers, said it would not leave the fed­er­a­tion with­out a court bat­tle.

Cosatu has given Numsa 30 days to ap­peal against its ex­pul­sion last week. Numsa re­gional sec­re­tary Mbuso Ngubane said the me­tal­work­ers’ union would not ap­peal. In­stead, it would go to court to fight for re­in­state­ment.

Nz­i­mande said the in­ter­nal strife started after Presi- dent Ja­cob Zuma re­jected a plea “by some Cosatu com­rades” to make Cosatu gen­eral sec­re­tary Zwelinz­ima Vavi the deputy pres­i­dent.

“When they re­turned from this mid­night meet­ing in Nkandla, they started to blame the SACP. I don’t know whether Vavi had been con­sulted (about the re­quest for him to be deputy pres­i­dent), but I don’t want to im­pli­cate him,” he said.

Nz­i­mande said Numsa’s de­par­ture should not be cel­e­brated. In­stead, Cosatu should cam­paign to bring Numsa mem­bers back to the fed­er­a­tion.

Cele said Numsa lead­ers should leave Cosatu as they had shown that they were tired of be­ing part of the al­liance.

“In 1985, Cosatu was formed in Dur­ban. Now oth­ers (on Numsa’s side), are meet­ing in Dur­ban to­day to plan the de­struc­tion of the same Cosatu,” he said.

A few kilo­me­tres from the city hall, Numsa mem­bers de­bated heat­edly whether to leave or fight to stay, with some say­ing that leav­ing Cosatu meant de­feat.

“Let us ex­haust all op­tions be­fore we re­solve to form a new fed­er­a­tion,” one mem­ber said.

But another said: “Let us leave S’dumo and Gwede Man­tashe (ANC sec­re­tary­gen­eral) with their Cosatu and let us form a new fed­er­a­tion.”

But Ngubane said that as Numsa had played a huge role in form­ing Cosatu and sup­ported it fi­nan­cially, it would not be an easy op­tion to just walk away.

He said Numsa and its aligned unions would hold joint na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ings on Satur­day to take a fi­nal decision.

Ap­peal­ing against the ex­pul­sion would be a waste of time as the ap­peal would only be heard at Cosatu’s na­tional congress late next year, Ngubane added.

‘BURY THEM’: SACP gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande wants Cosatu to dump Numsa.

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