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Clarity on Numsa's future expected today

Numsa’s future and its role in Cosatu will be clarified when the union's leaders announce what's next.

Numsa’s future and its role in Cosatu will be clarified when the union's leaders announce what's next. Picture: Twitter, @Radio702.

JOHANNESBURG - The future of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and its role in Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will be clarified when the union's leaders announce what's next at a special briefing today.

The briefing is largely expected to bring clarity on a pending court challenge.

The 349,000 member-strong metalworkers union was expelled from Cosatu in the early hours of Saturday morning, after protracted factional battles over recruitment and support for the African National Congress.

The expulsion has been described as a sad day for worker unity in the country but some analysts believe the union can return into the fold.

Numsa was expelled by a vote of 33 to 24 after months of infighting and a widening rift between the union and Cosatu bosses.

Numsa's general secretary Irvin Jim says they're determined to challenge the expulsion in court and labour analyst Terry Bell thinks the union could win.

"The majority of Cosatu has thrashed their own constitution."

Speaking shortly after their expulsion, Jim said they were booted out for violations that other unions are also guilty of.

"There is no basis of singling Numsa out on what is perceived as violation which is what Cosatu affiliates have done."

Bell also says that while the fight for control for the trade union federation continues, workers are likely to suffer.

After the expulsion the rest of the Central Executive Committee meeting was abandoned without the status of Zwelinzima Vavi or other agenda items being finalised.