Numsa says it re­fuses to play games

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE Na­tional Union of Me­tal­work­ers of SA (Numsa) will not en­gage in “child­ish” games that threaten to weaken or de­stroy its lead­er­ship, it said yes­ter­day.

“We are ready to be en­gaged with any in­di­vid­ual or or­gan­i­sa­tion, on any of the mat­ters we raise in the pub­lic do­main,” the union said.

“We refuse to be co-opted to any agenda that seeks to iso­late and de­stroy our lead­er­ship.”

The union said it would not be forced into “mud-sling­ing, scan­dal-mon­ger­ing and des­per­ate per­son­al­i­sa­tion” of se­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal is­sues.

On Thurs­day, SA Com­mu­nist Party deputy sec­re­tary Solly Ma­paila ac­cused Numsa gen­eral sec­re­tary Irvin Jim of want­ing to take con­trol of Cosatu.

He said Jim had hoped to take over from Zwelinz­ima Vavi as gen­eral sec­re­tary of Cosatu, if Vavi was ap­pointed ANC deputy pres­i­dent.

Ma­paila said Jim had tried, in the run-up to the ANC’s elec­tive con­fer­ence in Man­gaung last De­cem­ber, to lobby Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to in­stall Vavi as ANC deputy pres­i­dent. Busi­ness­man Cyril Ramaphosa was elected in­stead.

As a re­sult, Jim had be­come de­ter­mined to split Cosatu and lead a break­away.

Ma­paila said Jim had ac­cus- ed the SACP and ANC of di­vid­ing Cosatu, while he was di­vid­ing the fed­er­a­tion.

“It is the Jim-Numsa lead­er­ship clique, that since the be­gin­ning of this year, has openly been pro­claim­ing a rup­ture in Cosatu,” he said.

Vavi was placed on spe­cial leave in Au­gust for hav­ing an af­fair with a ju­nior em­ployee.

Nine of Cosatu’s 19 af­fil­i­ates sub­se­quently called for a spe­cial na­tional congress. How­ever, its pres­i­dent Sidumo Dlamini said Vavi did not fea­ture in their rea­sons for call­ing for the spe­cial congress.

Numsa has lodged an ap­pli­ca­tion in the High Court in Jo­han­nes­burg chal­leng­ing Vavi’s sus­pen­sion. Cosatu has asked it to with­draw the ac­tion.

Vavi has lodged pa­pers ask­ing to be added as an ap­pli­cant. He wants fi­nal relief to re­view and set aside the de­ci­sion to sus­pend him.

Last month, Numsa con­firmed that it was de­bat­ing whether to leave Cosatu, which would in ef­fect mean leav­ing Cosatu’s tri­par­tite al­liance with the ANC and the SACP.

Jim said Numsa was be­ing iso­lated by the ANC and the SACP af­ter com­ing to Vavi’s de­fence. Cosatu has re­solved to probe Numsa’s con­duct.

Numsa said yes­ter­day its pri­or­ity now was the spe­cial na­tional congress. – Sapa

UN­DER FIRE: Numsa gen­eral sec­re­tary Irvin Jim.

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