Cosatu a ‘ticking time bomb’

Numsa deputy secretary Karl Cloete briefs media at Mabuyakhulu Conference Centre, Johannesburg, 12 July 2015, on its way forward in matters relating to Cosatu and the federation’s upcoming special national congress.  Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Numsa deputy secretary Karl Cloete briefs media at Mabuyakhulu Conference Centre, Johannesburg, 12 July 2015, on its way forward in matters relating to Cosatu and the federation’s upcoming special national congress. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

As tensions between labour giant Cosatu and several disgruntled unions affiliated to it continue to simmer, a top unionist has warned that Cosatu was a “ticking bomb” waiting to explode.

The latest salvo came from dismissed National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) deputy general secretary Karl Cloete, who said yesterday that “Cosatu was on its knees”.

He said it was time to move on. This can be interpreted as an indication that Numsa has thrown in the towel in it’s to have it and sacked Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi reinstated.

Speaking to The Citizen, Cloete announced that a worker’s summit will be held to discuss plans to form a new labour federation.

Cloete’s comments come on the back of the chaotic Cosatu special national congress which ended yesterday in Midrand, Johannesburg.

This follows calls dating to 2013 by several disgruntled unions. The unions include Numsa, the Food and Allied Worker’s Union and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA.

Cloete lashed out at Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini and his clique, accusing them of flouting the labour giant’s constitution.

“The congress failed to achieve its mandate because the issue of Numsa and Vavi was not addressed,” Cloete said.

Supporters of Numsa and Vavi say efforts to hold a successful congress have not been achieved.

“We have attempted to participate in the debates from the beginning to the end in this congress,” the affiliates said in a statement.

“We have refused to be personal even in the face of sheer provocation including unfounded allegations that we were to provide drugs and alcohol to delegates.”

They accuse the ANC of “tacitly” accepting the dismissal of Numsa.

“There has been an inability to protect the independence of Cosatu by allowing leaders of alliance partners to attack and criticise other leaders,” the document stated.

“This combined with a failure to address the chronic corruption, purges and gangsterism taking place in some affiliates points to a movement in a crisis.”

The unions intend to convene special national executive committee meetings to map the way forward.

-ngwakom@citizen.co.za

 

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