Numsa: Impeach Zuma, disband alliance

Irvin Jim says Zuma is an embarrassment and Cosatu must abandon the tripartite alliance.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim says Jacob Zuma's decision to go ahead with e-tolls, the tax incentive bill and upgrades to his Nkandla homestead can't be tolerated. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Wrapping up its special congress on Friday, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) called for President Jacob Zuma to resign.

The union also called on the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to withdraw from the tripartite alliance between itself, the ANC and the South African Communist Party.

The call for Zuma to step down forms part of several resolutions reached at the four-day congress in Boksburg.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim says the fact that Zuma forged ahead with the Employment Incentive Act, e-tolls and the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead can't be tolerated.

"The Zuma administration not only pursues neo-liberalism but it's characterised by scandals, nepotism and patronage. The public protector's report [into Nkandla] has the potential to destroy the image of the state president and send a negative image about this country. President Zuma must resign."

When referring to Cosatu, Jim said all hopes of reclaiming the tripartite alliance have faded and the time has come to explore alternatives.

"Numsa calls on Cosatu to break from the alliance because the time to look for an alternative has arrived. Numsa will lead a new united front that will coordinate struggles in the work place and in communities, in a way similar to the UDF of the 1980s."

He adds, "The working class needs a political organisation committed in theory and in practice to socialism."

In addition to the front, Jim said, Numsa will conduct an international study on socialism.

"Numsa will explore a movement for socialism and the whole process will lead to the union convening a conference on socialism next year."

He said they will rope in all progressive organisations - regardless of their political affiliation - with the aim of contesting elections in the future.

On Thursday, suspended Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told Numsa delegates Zuma's administration has failed the working class.

Vavi addressed the special congress in his personal capacity.

The congress began on Tuesday after it was delayed for a week due to the 10 days of national mourning for former president Nelson Mandela.