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Police must probe Irvin Jim incident - Numsa president

Numsa president said police should probe why Irvin Jim was followed by a suspicious car on Thursday.

Numsa's general secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - There were conflicting claims on Saturday about exactly why the National Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim was followed by a suspicious car from the South African Communist Party (SACP's) conference.

On Friday, Jim told Eyewitness News he had been followed by a group of armed men travelling in a car with false number plates on Thursday.

He said the men claimed to be police officers - but had fake identification badges.

About 2000 delegates are attending the party's 13th congress at the University of Zululand near Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.

Numsa confirmed that Jim was followed by unknown men when he left the conference.

But South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande on Saturday dismissed suggestions of a conspiracy.

He said security officials thought Jim's car was that of the mayor's.

"Legitimate security for the mayor and the deputy mayor of the Ethekwini Municipality followed the wrong car."

The mayor's office confirmed Nzimande's statement and also called the incident an "honest mistake."

But Numsa president Cedric Gina said police need to investigate the matter.