High noon for Numsa & Cosatu

It's expected that Cosatu will today expel Numsa at a special Central Executive Committee meeting.

Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) house in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Picture: Janice Healing/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting is expected to go ahead today, but metalworkers union Numsa says it will not respond to any additional charges apart from the five it has so far been notified of.

Numsa claims the labour federation was not clear on exactly what charges it's facing saying it will therefore be prejudiced.

An urgent application to prevent Numsa from having to argue against its suspension or expulsion was postponed in a high court yesterday.

Numsa's Karl Cloete says they regard this decision as a victory because it means they can now turn to the courts to argue their way out of being expelled.

"We wanted to be satisfied that the court would be coming to our rescue. So there has been no court ruling, but an agreement between the parties that we have the possibility to go back to court to argue why we should not have been expelled."

The union's lawyer argued for the case to be postponed pending the outcome of today's CEC.

Cloete says they have received instructions from their lawyer.

"His decision is that we only have to respond to five areas which we have prepared for and which we will make submissions on."

GOING TO COURT

Numsa will take Cosatu to court if it goes ahead and expels it during the CEC meeting today.

In a letter sent to Numsa earlier this year, Cosatu referred to the union's special congress in December where it took the decision not to support the African National Congress in the general elections.

This is given as one of the reasons the union faces expulsion, because it goes against Cosatu's Constitution.

Cloete says the union has wanted clarity on the charges against it for months now.

"Since February we have been asking Cosatu, what is it all that we must respond to because they listed five areas, but they say it's not limited to those five areas."