Cosatu: Numsa cannot destroy the federation

Cosatu says by starting a new political party from within, Numsa will destroy the federation.

FILE: Cosatu says by starting a new political party within, Numsa will destroy the federation. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s national leaders say they cannot let the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) destroy the federation and start a new political party while staying within Cosatu.

They also say Numsa's leaders are working to try and make sure the African National Congress (ANC) loses an election.

Technically, this dispute is around the demand of Numsa and eight other unions for a special congress.

But Cosatu's acting General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says that won't change anything.

This seems to be the strongest language yet from Cosatu, but there is still no indication of whether they will formally expel Numsa or Numsa will just leave.

It seems both sides may fear pulling the trigger.