Cosatu ‘sidelines’ Numsa leadership

The country’s largest union won’t speak at events commemorating Workers Day.

Numsa says none of its leaders have been given an opportunity to address the workers in today’s rallies. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Wednesday said its leaders are deliberately being sidelined.

This as Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leaders prepare to speak at Workers Day rallies around South Africa on Thursday.

Numsa says the latest move is a deliberate decision made by Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini.

The union, which is the largest in the country, says the federation doesn't want its members to attend the gatherings.

Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese says the gatherings shouldn't be used to campaign for the ANC ahead of the 7 May polls.

"We all know very well that under the ANC government, we have seen workers being massacred in Marikana and we have also seen e-tolls being imposed on us."

Despite being Cosatu's largest affiliate, none of its national leaders will be speaking at the events.

Numsa further claims Cosatu wants to expel it because of its decision to withdraw support for the ruling party.

The union has been a fierce supporter of suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

He was placed on special leave last yea r for having an extramarital affair with a younger employee at work.

In March, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled Vavi's suspension was illegal and unlawful.

On his return to Cosatu House, he said divisions within the federation were caused by rival factions fighting for control of assets.

The latest move seems to be another indication that once the elections are over, Cosatu could go ahead with the decision to finally expel Numsa.