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“Cosatu has been Hijacked and Turned into a Labour Desk of the ANC and the SACP” – Numsa

Cosatu in CrisisEarlier this week the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced that it is ending its campaign to reclaim its position in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

This announcement comes one year after Numsa was officially expelled from trade union federation. The decision to sever ties with Cosatu was made at Numsa’s NEC meeting. In a press release on their website, Numsa said that “Cosatu has been hijacked by the ANC led Alliance turning Cosatu into a labour desk of the ANC and the SACP.”

Distancing itself from Cosatu seems to be one aspect of the union’s broader aim to “create a revolutionary working class governing alternative to the ANC and SACP”. Exploring a Socialist movement in this country was one of the items discussed by Numsa’s NEC. They also touched on the recent student protests throughout South Africa.

After a media briefing by Irvin Jim, Neo Goba wrote an article about the issues for The Times:

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim briefed reporters after the union’s three-day national executive committee meeting, which took place over the weekend, marking a year since its expulsion from Cosatu.

“The dismissal of Numsa has effectively spelt the end of a militant, revolutionary, anti-imperialist, socialist-orientated and Freedom Charter-championing Cosatu.

“Cosatu, to the working class, is as good as dead,” said Jim.

Read Numsa’s statement regarding Cosatu:

Numsa NEC on Cosatu:

The last Numsa NEC held in July 2015 resolved to consult our members once more on whether Numsa should campaign to remain within and reclaim Cosatu. The July 2015 Numsa NEC specifically asked two questions:

‘Should Numsa pursue an appeal at the forthcoming Cosatu Ordinary National Congress?’ Delegates to the November 2015 Numsa NEC brought back mandates from Numsa 9 Regions and 52 locals. The answer was a resounding ‘No’.

In answering this question, from the Numsa rank and file, the unanimous response and mandate from the nine (9) Numsa Regions were as follows;

(a) There is no point in pursuing an appeal in the Cosatu National Congress since the July 2015 Cosatu Special National Congress demonstrated the extent to which the Sdumo clique and their cohorts would go to (1) undermine and disrespect the Federations’ Constitution and (2) Do everything in their power to exclude Comrade Vavi and Numsa from participating in Cosatu to carry out the decisions of the September 2012 Cosatu National Congress resolutions as well as the March 2013 Cosatu Organising, Campaigns and Collective Bargaining Conference resolutions.

(b) According to the Cosatu Office Bearer clique’s view with respect to an appeal regarding Numsa’s reinstatement, Numsa would have no delegation present at the November 2015 Cosatu National Congress and would thus not be able to present constitutional and procedural reasons for why Numsa’s expulsion was unconstitutional, unprocedural and unlawful.

(c) There is no point in appealing to a Cosatu National Congress which has been captured by right-wing and reactionary forces determined to support the ANC/SACP government, despite its neoliberal, capitalist, anti-working class policies such as e-tolling, privatisation, allowance of labour broking (which is tantamount to human trafficking), illicit capital outflows, imports which are killing local manufacturing, retail and services, abandonment of the Freedom Charter, and so on.

(d) There is no point in appealing to a Cosatu National Congress which will, like the Cosatu Special National Congress, exclude the genuinely elected Cosatu General Secretary and Numsa. We are more than convinced, as we were in relation to the July 2015 Cosatu SNC that the Cosatu November 2015 National congress shall be dominated by hand-picked delegates, and a stage-managed “democratic arrangement” with votes by show of hands.

(e) We have fulfilled the directive of the December 2013 Numsa Special National Congress to do everything possible to save and reclaim Cosatu as an independent, militant, democratic, worker controlled, anti-imperialist and socialist orientated federation.

In this regard, the Numsa November 2015 NEC thus resolved;

a) That, as Numsa, we have undertaken all efforts to reclaim Cosatu but that this has been in vain.

b) In executing the December 2013 Numsa Special National Congress resolutions, we must fast track the process of building a New Independent Labour Federation, particularly since 76% of employed workers remain outside of trade unions and their respective federations.

Again the July 2015 Numsa NEC asked a question to all 9 Numsa regions and 52 locals: should Numsa continue with its court case to set aside its expulsion from Cosatu?

The answer from all 9 Numsa Regions and its 52 Locals again was a resounding no.

We cannot waste any more of workers’ money in trying to get a court to force the federation to take us back when it is clear that Cosatu has been hijacked by the ANC led Alliance turning Cosatu into a labour desk of the ANC and the SACP.

The NEC fully agreed with the observations of former NUM General Secretary, and former ANC Secretary General and South African President Kgalema Mothlanthe when he said last week:

“There is no alliance, there is one organisation existing inside the integuments of erstwhile independent organisations, but today to talk about Cosatu as an independent organisation from the ANC or the SACP I think is a delusion.”

Numsa abandoned the ANC and was also expelled from Cosatu for precisely ariving at this correct political position, among other important things! The alliance is dead.

In response, Cosatu put out this brief statement:

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the media statement released by the National Union of Metalworkers {NUMSA}, where they are saying that, they are no longer going to appeal their dismissal at the upcoming COSATU 12th National Congress.

Related news:

Book details

  • Cosatu in Crisis: The Fragmentation of an African Trade Union Federation edited by Vishwas Satgar, Roger Southall
    EAN: 9780992232948
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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