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ANC seeks to prevent Cosatu split

The ANC’s facilitation process is aimed at preventing a split within the trade union federation.

The ANC’s facilitation process is aimed at preventing a split within the trade union federation. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Africa National Congress (ANC)'s facilitation process aimed at preventing the split of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is due to start today, with the first of a series of meetings.

This week Cosatu agreed to put on hold a meeting that was expected to see it decide whether to expel the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and possibly discuss Zwelinzima Vavi's reinstatement.

Last week a court set aside Vavi's eight-month suspension after he admitted to having sex with a junior employee.

While this is going to be an ANC-led process, Cosatu has taken great pains to say this will be Cosatu-owned process.

The federation's President Sidumo Dlamini has said he did not want this mechanism to play out in the media.

But it's understood ANC leaders will meet with Cosatu officials today.

ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the party's deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte will be the main players but tensions between the factions within Cosatu have been running high.

They'll have their work cut out for them if they want to bring lasting peace to the federation.

Meanwhile, as the national elections draw nearer Numsa's Irvin Jim called on Cosatu's reinstated general secretary to accept that the ANC was no longer a representative of workers.

Jim said the time had come for the working class to form its own organisation, to contest the ANC in the 2019 general elections.

"We all love the ANC a lot but I think the time has come for the working class to organise itself as a class for itself."

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