“The disorderly and anarchical actions of Numsa have placed the federation in a position where its long-term survival is at stake,” National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) general secretary Bereng Soke told reporters in Johannesburg.
“We are convinced that [the Congress of SA Trade Unions] has now reached that agonising moment where it has to choose between its long-term survival and development, or the further corrosion of its founding principles, unity and cohesion, by the parallel internal existence of a project designed to establish a rival trade union centre.”
Nehawu believed it was unrealistic for Cosatu to be expected to continue enduring the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) leadership’s public statements renouncing it and its political policies.
Soke was briefing media following Nehawu’s national executive committee meeting.
Cosatu has been dogged by internal fighting and divisions. Numsa and the trade union federation have been at loggerheads since Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended for having an affair with a junior employee. Numsa took Cosatu to court over Vavi’s suspension.
The union resolved at its special congress in December not to support the ANC in the elections, going against Cosatu.
Affiliates in Cosatu have been divided between their support for Vavi and president Sidumo Dlamini.
A special central executive committee meeting is expected to resume on Friday where Numsa’s future in Cosatu is expected to be decided.
Soke said: “We are clear and adamant that for the sake of the long-term survival of our union and federation… we shall effect the surgical removal of elements, whose continued existence within the fold of our federation would eventually lead to its demise.”