Numsa asks delegates to consider Zuma's future

The union is holding a special congress in Boksburg on Gauteng’s East Rand.

The union is holding a special congress in Boksburg on Gauteng’s East Rand. Picture:Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s acting president Andrew Chirwa on Tuesday told delegates to consider asking President Jacob Zuma to step down.

During his opening address at a special congress in Boksburg, he questioned Zuma's motives for spending millions on his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Chirwa suggested delegates consider the question in light of the high levels of poverty in the country.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is expected to release her final report into the R208 million upgrades in January.

Numsa is also expected to discuss its alliance with the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

The union says divisions within Cosatu are not being addressed, raising concerns about whether it should remain affiliated to the trade union federation.

It would appear that Numsa's revolt has moved beyond the fight to reinstate suspended secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi.

Chirwa says they want to be affiliated to a Cosatu that possesses certain characteristics.

"As Numsa, we've openly stated that we stand for nothing short of campaigning, militant, revolutionary, anti-capitalists, anti-imperialist Cosatu. The president of Cosatu has decided to elevate himself above the constitution of Cosatu."

The congress was postponed by a week due to the 10 days of mourning for former president Nelson Mandela.