Proceedings at the national congress of union federation Cosatu were briefly halted on Monday afternoon following disagreements on credentials.
It all started when the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) rejected the credentials. The union opposed the credentials on the basis that it did not want Cosatu’s second deputy president, Zingiswa Losi, to be included as an office bearer and the Liberated Metalworkers Union (Limusa) to be a Cosatu affiliate at the congress.
Fawu members sang and danced and they were supported by members of other unions including the SA Catering, Commercial and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU).
Cosatu’s acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali pleaded with the disruptive union members to calm down. He asked them to sit down so that the congress could proceed and later allow President Jacob Zuma to deliver a keynote address.
“A mistake was pointed out that a national office bearer must not be part of the congress. That was accepted.We need to find each other,” said Ntshalintshali.
Fawu and SACCAWU are some of the unions that strongly opposed the expulsion of Zwelinzima Vavi as Cosatu general secretary and the Metalworkers union Numsa.
In his expected address, Zuma is likely to delve into the challenges faced by the ANC-led tripartite alliance. He is also expected to talk about the 2016 local government elections and the economic state of South Africa.