Cosatu expelled the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) at its special central executive committee (CEC) meeting on Saturday. This was because the union had, among others, withdrawn its support for the ANC in the May 7 general elections – which went against the federation’s constitution. Numsa’s withdrawal of voter support apparently cost the ANC up to R2 million in funding for the election campaign.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe described Numsa’s expulsion as tragic and disappointing.
“The ANC will continue to engage the federation to conduct a detailed analysis of the impact of this decision,” Mantashe said during a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday.
“We don’t believe the challenges facing the federation are insurmountable, nor its differences irreconcilable. This development can never be celebrated and it, in fact, calls upon all of us to work to find each other.”
Mantashe said the attacks on the ANC by Numsa were unfounded. He said the conflict in Cosatu must be treated as a conflict inside the federation, in which the ANC task team remained available to assist in building unity and cohesion.
The ANC had, since April, made a stern intervention to quell tensions within Cosatu through a task team led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Seven unions, which supported Numsa, announced earlier on Monday they would suspend their participation in Cosatu’s CEC.