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Cosatu's special national congress: Delegates endorse Limusa & Losi’s attendance

Delegates spent nearly 10 hours trying to resolve the credentials issue and eventually put it to a vote.

Cosatu members at the union’s special national congress held at Gallagher Convention Centre on 13 July 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Delegates at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu's) Special National Congress have voted to endorse the credentials and allow the Liberated Metal Workers of South Africa (Limusa) and the federation's second deputy president Zingiswa Losi to attend the meeting.

The two-day congress was called to discuss unity and cohesion by a third of Cosatu's affiliates; and a move to have National Metalworkers of South Africa's (Numsa) expulsion and Zwelinzima Vavi's dismissal discussed is expected from unions loyal to the metalworkers.

Cosatu's Central Executive Committee (CEC) insisted the meeting would not hear any appeals.

Delegates spent nearly 10 hours trying to resolve the credentials issue and eventually put it to a vote.

But the process had been marred by controversy with delegates questioning its legitimacy.

The vote for credentials took place with everyone inside the main plenary including guests and observers.

Delegates say, they were told to stand up and show their tags to vote yes, remain seated to vote no, and cross their arms to abstain.

The Independent Electoral Commission was called in to observe the voting but its procedures weren't used.

Members of the so-called rebel unions say the process has no legitimacy and questioned why Cosatu staff were counting the votes.

MEDIA BARRED FROM REPORTING ON CRUCIAL ITEMS

Earlier, Cosatu's congress kicked off with the media being barred from reporting on the crucial discussion around the agenda items and the credentials of delegates attending the meeting.

CEC member and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) official Peter Bailey denied that the media blackout was an attempt to manipulate the agenda by Cosatu's national office bearers.

"The letter and the request for the Special National Congress was very clear. We have adhered to that request in terms of the Constitution."

He said the agenda was finalised at the CEC meeting and its standard practice to discuss it in closed sessions.

"Once the president has granted the special congress request, the CEC then determines the agenda."

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