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No decision taken on Numsa: Cosatu

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Cosatu did not vote on Numsa being expelled from the trade union federation, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“Cosatu agreed to reconvene the meeting on the 7th of November to discuss issues still outstanding, including the issue of Numsa,” Patrick Craven said.

“No decision was taken on the status of Numsa in Cosatu. The vote did not happen.”

Craven said Cosatu would release a statement late on Thursday evening or on Friday morning with more details.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions is holding its three-day special central executive committee (CEC) meeting in Johannesburg this week.

On Thursday, SABC television news reported that Numsa was still part of Cosatu.

“Numsa is still part of Cosatu,” Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim told the state broadcaster.

“This CEC have just finished and we will convene a proper press conference to communicate what is the Numsa position on what is happening.”

Numsa and Cosatu had been at loggerheads since the trade union federation suspended its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. This was after a woman alleged he had raped her at work. She had not reported it to police. Vavi said they had an affair.

Numsa had been a staunch Vavi supporter during his suspension and instituted the court proceedings against the trade union federation, insisting that Vavi be reinstated.

Numsa was one of the unions calling for a special Cosatu congress, at which it wanted new leadership elected.

At its special congress in December, the metalworkers’ union took the decision not to support the ANC during the general elections.

This was despite being an affiliate of Cosatu, which is an alliance partner of the ruling party.

An African National Congress task team was formed in April to help solve problems within Cosatu.

Just after Vavi returned to work in April, a special CEC was held where the task team brokered an agreement between Cosatu, Vavi, and some affiliates.

The ANC task team, led by its deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, presented its interim report to the CEC meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The report gives a summary of what Cosatu affiliates identified as problems in the union federation.

According to the report, affiliates were unanimous in their view that there was “paralysis” in Cosatu. They were convinced it emanated from the inability of its national office bearers to provide leadership, because of divisions.

“The affiliates all acknowledge the existence of two groupings or factions; loosely grouped around the president [Sidumo Dlamini] and the general secretary [Vavi],” the ANC said.

A number of solutions were recommended by affiliates. These included fresh elections of national office bearers, the departure of either Dlamini or Vavi, or the departure of all six Cosatu leaders.

The ANC task team warned Cosatu national office bearers to stop supporting certain affiliates and focus on leading the union federation.

In the report, the ANC, stopping short of naming Numsa, urged affiliates not to make public utterances that hampered Cosatu’s unity.

“The public comments and conduct of some affiliates have caused deep unhappiness in the federation and a question of their long-term commitment to the unity of the federation,” it said. SAPA

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