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Numsa out in the cold as Cosatu holds rallies

Johannesburg - Cosatu has excluded defiant Numsa leaders from the line-up of speakers for Thursday’s May Day rally, fearing they might disrupt the event for their own ends.

Cosatu central executive committee member Joe Mpisi said ahead of the national rally at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane that leaders of other affiliates would be allowed to address rallies across the country.

File photo. Credit: Reuters

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA, the federation’s largest affiliate, broke ranks last year when it resolved not to support the ANC in next week’s elections. The union has also withheld its financial support from the ruling party.

Numsa rejects the government’s blueprint for economic and social reform, the National Development Plan, as a liberal policy document.

Mpisi said Numsa leaders deployed to rallies in provinces would not be allowed to speak. “I think it was a calculated deployment by the leadership to say we want people who will unite the federation and its members.”

Thursday’s main rally in Polokwane was expected to be addressed by the leaders of the tripartite alliance: ANC president Jacob Zuma, SACP leader Blade Nzimande and Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini.

In spite of the glaring discord, Mpisi insisted that the federation was not divided.

Numsa national spokesman Castro Ngobese said the union was not surprised by the snub.

“A faction aligned to the Cosatu president has taken that decision because of a political agenda to isolate Numsa’s leadership from the workers.” - The Star

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