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Cosatu weighs in on possible Numsa replacement

Cosatu's Zingiswa Losi says its not forming Mawusa and it can’t comment on its existence.

Cosatu's Zingiswa Losi says its not forming Mawusa and it can’t comment on its existence. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says a new metalworkers union being touted as an alternative to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), is not being formed by the federation but is eligible to become an affiliate.

The Metal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Mawusa) applied for registration with the labour department last month and is reportedly being led by former Numsa president Cedric Gcina.

His involvement has raised speculation by Numsa that Mawusa will be used to attract supporters of the African National Congress within its ranks.

Cosatu's second deputy president Zingiswa Losi says Mawusa is not being formed by the federation's members and it can't comment on its existence.

"Gcina isn't with Cosatu anymore."

But she says if the union wants to join Cosatu it could approach its leaders.

"If there's any union that wants to affiliate with the federation they must bring the letter to the central executive committee."

Cosatu's denial of any involvement in forming the union has been rubbished by Numsa which insists is a precursor to attempting to expel it from the federation.

Earlier, the trade union federation said it isn't ready to hold a special national congress to resolve its internal battles because its unity is likely to be tested at such a gathering.

A third of Cosatu's 19 affiliates called for the congress last year following the suspension of the union's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Vavi was suspended for having an affair with a junior employee but his suspension was lifted in April.

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