'Numsa's expulsion is unforgivable'

Cosatu's founding general secretary, Jay Naidoo, says Numsa's expulsion feels like a stab in the gut.

Supporters of Numsa. Picture: Twitter, @Radio702.

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu's founding general secretary Jay Naidoo says the expulsion of Numsa from the federation is unforgivable and feels like a stab in the gut.

"It's like someone has suck a knife in my gut. We were the midwife of the birth of Cosatu. Then you have 33 leaders who fatally wound and implode the most powerful labour movement. That's an unforgivable sin."

Naidoo helped found Cosatu in 1985 and has been outspoken about the divisions within the federation that have dragged on for two years, leaving the organisation unable to take up many of its campaigns.

The divisions culminated in a vote by 33 leaders to oust Numsa in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Naidoo says Cosatu faced serious divisions in the past, but has always been able to overcome these due to its focus on worker issues.

"Those early meetings were like walking into a den of wolves, but there as one thing that united us. We should never do anything that divided the workers. We focused on the shared interests."