Too early to tell if Cosatu made the right decision-SACP

Numsa was expelled from Cosatu in the early hours of this morning after a marathon meeting.

Cosatu delegates expelled Numsa with a vote of 33 versus 24. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it's still too early to determine if the Congress of South Africa Trade Union (Cosatu)'s Central Executive Committee made the right decision by expelling its largest affiliate Numsa from the federation.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) was expelled in the early hours of this morning after a marathon meeting that saw the union table a lengthy presentation on why it should remain in Cosatu.

In the end delegates expelled Numsa with a vote of 33 versus 24.

The SACP's Alex Mashilo says the expulsion will be discussed at the party's political bureau meeting on Monday.

"Whether or not it is the right decision to expel Numsa, those are matters that we will, once we have been informed officially by Cosatu of the decision and how they arrived at it, make up our minds on it."


The Democratic Left Front (DLF) has described the expulsion of the Numsa from Cosatu as an attempt to divide the organised working class in the midst of more taxes and job cuts and says the repercussions will be terrible.

Numsa was Cosatu's largest affiliate with nearly three hundred and fifty thousand members and was also backed by eight other unions in the Cosatu Central Executive Committee.

The DLF's Brian Ashley says, "What we've seen is the division of the organised working class at a time when government's just announced bigger tax on workers. This is a time when you would want organised workers to be united and to resist these attacks."

Ashley claims Numsa was chucked out of the federation because its ally Zwelinzima Vavi refused to protect allegedly corrupt leaders.

"They've done it because they have been attacked by Zwelinzima Vavi who hasn't protected them from being investigated for corruption so we have comrades with serious allegations of corruption levelled against them."


Numsa's Irvin Jim says the union will now consult with the eight Cosatu affiliates that supported its call for a special national congress.

A briefing by the metalworkers union officials is due to take place tomorrow.

Jim says while worker unity has been dealt a blow it should mark the start of a new revolution.

"It's a dark day for the unity of workers but it should activate a revolution to move forward."

The meeting started at 10am yesterday but a decision was only taken shortly after 1am this morning.

Jim says despite a lengthy presentation based on logic and facts, the metalworkers union's rival faction in Cosatu has succeeded in booting out Numsa.

Click here to view Numsa's presentation.