Numsa's fate hangs in limbo

Cosatu has not taken a decision on whether to expel Numsa from the federation.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Central Executive Committee has not yet taken a decision on whether to expel the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from the federation.

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) is currently in a three day meeting that's due to end tomorrow.

Going into the meeting, Numsa had failed to respond to a demand from the federation that would explain why it shouldn't be expelled or suspended for withdrawing its support for the ANC.

But now it seems any decision could actually be put off.

Numsa wants the full details of the meeting that led to Cosatu's demand which could delay the entire process.

This seems to be part of an elaborate political ballet as people position themselves to control the future of Numsa and of Cosatu itself.

Cosatu and Numsa have been at loggerheads since Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended from Cosatu in August 2013 after he admitted to having sex with a junior employee who had initially accused him of rape.

Since then, several Cosatu unions have spoken out against its leadership, with Numsa threatening to withdraw its affiliation fee.

In December, Numsa held its own special congress where it withdrew support for the ANC and President Jacob Zuma.

Numsa's decision sent shock waves through the political community.

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