Cosatu condemns Numsa letter leak

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IOL pic may8 patrick craven cosatu Independent Newspapers Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven. File picture: Masi Losi

Johannesburg - Cosatu on Tuesday condemned the leaking of a letter received from Numsa, which stopped short of accusing its president of trying to divide the metalworkers' union.

“Quite clearly whoever leaked this letter is not happy that the federation is going through a process of confronting its internal difficulties,” the Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.

“The leaking of the letter is designed to undermine this process.”

The Sowetan reported that according to the letter, National Union of Metalworkers of SA general secretary Irvin Jim claimed Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini had attended a meeting of former and current union members in an attempt to destabilise it and form an alternative union.

The letter was reportedly sent to Cosatu last Tuesday.

“The Numsa national executive committee received reports from its KwaZulu-Natal region that the Cosatu president met with a group... in Umlazi after the December special congress wherein the destabilisation project was conceived,” Jim was quoted as writing in the letter.

“In this regard, a Cedric Gina meeting on May 25 with disgruntled former and current Numsa members plotted tactics of how to destabilise Numsa to form an alternative metalworkers (union) in SA.”

Gina resigned as Numsa president in November last year.

The union has been criticised for going against Cosatu when it resolved at its special congress last year not to support the African National Congress.

Cosatu is an alliance partner of the ANC and SA Communist Party. Numsa is the trade union federation's biggest affiliate.

Irvin has repeatedly said Numsa would not back down from its resolutions, despite Cosatu asking it to do so.

The ANC has set up a task team to help resolve Cosatu's internal battles. The ruling party has brokered a cease-fire within Cosatu.

Craven on Tuesday said the leaking of the letter was an attempt to undermine this process.

“We call upon all our leadership and members to abide by the decision to engage with each other through official internal channels and not publicly through the media,” he said.


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