Cosatu jubilant after victory over Numsa

Cosatu says Numsa abused the trust of its members by appealing for its inclusion in the federation's congress.

FILE: Cosatu leadership at Press conference at Cosatu House in Johannesburg on 11 November 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerein/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) abused the trust of its members by appealing for its inclusion in the federation's special national congress and it's confident the tide will soon turn against breakaway union.

Numsa has been ordered to pay Cosatu's legal bills after the application was deemed not urgent and struck off the roll in the High Court in Johannesburg.

Numsa approached the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, asking that the union be urgently included in next month's congress before Cosatu's accreditation committee meets on Wednesday.

WATCH: Numsa takes Cosatu to court.

The trade union federation says unions that have been supporting the metalworkers' union will also soon return to the federation.

Cosatu's acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said: "We don't believe the matter should have been brought to the court. We have argued that this is an abuse of power and have provento be correct. Over time comrades will realise that it is a futile exercise as Cosatu matters should be resolved through Cosatu's internal processes."

Most of Cosatu's leaders were in court along with the leaders of unions loyal to the metalworkers' union.

Earlier, former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said he would only appeal his dismissal from Cosatu at the congress if Numsa was allowed to attend. Vavi argued that workers should be allowed to decide whether Numsa returns to the fold.


Acting judge Mandla Mbongwe described Numsa's application as an afterthought and said the union should have lodged it in February.

Mbongwe also reaffirmed Cosatu's view that the special national congress does not have the same power as an ordinary congress.

That ordinary congress, taking place in November, is where the judge says Numsa should lodge its appeal.

But it's unclear if this will happen with the metalworkers' union members allowed in the congress with voting rights.

Describing how Numsa approached the courts, Mbongwe said it was like someone watching a fire and failing to react until it reached their doorstep.

Speaking outside court Vavi described the outcome as the end of the road for their battle to return to the federation.

The special national congress is scheduled for 13 and 14 July.