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Cosatu: Numsa forming political party

The trade union federation accuses Numsa’s leaders of wanting to weaken Cosatu, the ANC & SACP.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini. Picture:SAPA.

JOHANNESBURG - There is no doubt the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is forming a political party, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s national leadership said on Tuesday.

According to the trade union federation, Numsa's leaders want to weaken Cosatu and destroy the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

Leaders further claim Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini is aware of what Numsa is doing.

"It can be given many names. The fact is, they are working to form a political party which will contest in the elections."

Numsa on Monday said it wouldn't form a party to contest this year's polls but that it would take a decision next year about starting a new political formation.

Cosatu acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says this is part of a bigger programme.

"[It is] A programme aimed at ensuring that the ANC loses the election and that the SACP is also liquidated."

Ntshalintshali says while Cosatu will give Numsa a chance to respond to the allegations.

"As things stand now, we see Numsa's leadership pursuing an agenda that doesn't only stand in opposition to Cosatu policies, but is aimed at destroying Cosatu and the ANC."

This seems to be the strongest indication yet that Cosatu is preparing to expel Numsa.

Leaders also say suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has broken the terms of his suspension by attacking them in public.