Numsa was almost expelled from Cosatu

EWN understands Numsa would've been expelled if Cyril Ramaphosa and Jessie Duarte hadn't intervened.

FILE: Numsa members gather in Johannesburg on 19 March, 2014. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News understands that if Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte had not arrived at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting when they did, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) would have been expelled.

Ramaphosa and Duarte are part of an ANC-led intervention team that is trying to resolve tensions within Cosatu.

The ANC established a task team to sort out divisions within Cosatu shortly before the 7 May elections.

Last year, Numsa said it was going to withdraw its support from the ruling party.

It's understood there was high drama at this meeting and several unions attacked Numsa for stealing their members.

At one point, it appeared the CEC was actually about to take a formal decision to expel the metalworkers union.

But Ramaphosa and Duarte arrived.

They have been able to buy more time but it isn't certain what concrete proposals they would possibly come up with to prevent the ultimate split of Cosatu.

Cosatu claims Numsa is trying to damage the ANC after it withdrew its support for the party while Numsa has said it doesn't believe the ANC is helping workers.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim has strongly criticised President Jacob Zuma, claiming he is a hypocrite.

At the same time, the metalworkers union said earlier this month that it is considering forming a new independent labour federation as a last resort.

Numsa said there is growing concern over a 'dysfunctional alliance' among its members.

The union has also called for the resignation of Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini, saying he has brought the federation into disrepute.