Kick out Numsa’s stinking corpse – Nzimande
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.