Numsa’s Jim challenges SACP

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Dumisani Dube

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Dumisani Dube

Boksburg - Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim on Tuesday warned the SA Communist Party it would not be able to bring the union down.

“We want Blade (Nzimande) and them to know one thing... the working class will defend us,” Jim told delegates at the National Metalworkers Union of SA's special congress in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

Nzimande is the SACP's general secretary.

Jim said workers would sing songs in support of the Numsa and led delegates in singing “kumnandi ukuthembela KunNumsa” (it's nice to trust in Numsa).

The SACP and Numsa had been at loggerheads over the union's view of the African National Congress and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

Numsa called the special congress to discuss whether it should support the ANC in next year's elections and whether it should withdraw from the trade union federation.

Numsa had become disenchanted with the political leadership of the ANC.

The union also launched a court application against Cosatu over the suspension of its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

This was after Vavi was put on special leave for, among other things, having an affair with a junior Cosatu employee.

Numsa had also been critical of Cosatu's president Sidumo Dlamini and his delaying of holding a special Cosatu conference.

Before delivering his secretariat report at the Numsa congress on Tuesday, Jim questioned the SACP's role in the mass revolutionary movement. The SACP thought its role was to manage the contradiction between labour and capital.

“Its mission is to organise the working class... it has no role to hide in Parliament,” he said, taking another stab at Nzimande, who is the minister of higher education.

“We will show him that basically he belongs to the interests of the state.”

Jim said the SACP belonged to slain party general secretary Chris Hani and if it was not the same party now Numsa would not waste its time supporting it.

“Live by what you say and what you do,” he said.

Sapa


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