Dlamini: Cosatu doesn't expel unions

There have been suggestions that Cosatu may expel Numsa after it withdrew its support for the ANC.

There have been suggestions that Cosatu may expel Numsa after it withdrew its support for the ANC. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sidumo Dlamini says the federation is not in the business of expelling its unions.

There have been strong suggestions this week that Cosatu may expel the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) after it took a decision to withdraw its support for the ANC.

There have been claims Numsa wants to create a workers formation with other Cosatu unions which support it.

When asked if Cosatu is preparing to expel Numsa, Dlamini sounded reconciliatory.

"Cosatu isn't in the business of expelling its unions."

But in the same breath he layed down a challenge to Numsa.

"We expect all of our unions to take part in Cosatu events and follow Cosatu's policies and constitutions."

That appears to mean Numsa has to back the ANC or else.

TOUGH ACTION?

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that Cosatu will take tough action against Numsa following a series of public spats.

Cosatu and Numsa have been at loggerheads since General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended.

Numsa has since publicly criticised the trade union federation and accused it of being a lapdog of the ANC.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says Cosatu stands to lose more if it does not act.

"If they don't do anything, it just shows that they're quite vulnerable because one would have expected them to have taken action. I don't think Numsa cares much about what Cosatu does now because they have been able to attack Cosatu. Through the media they've been able to regain that kind of traction."