Karl Cloete Deputy general Secretary of Numsa. Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - Numsa is not an ANC trade union like some other unions in the country, its deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said on Friday.

“We are an independent trade union, “ he told metalworkers at a political school in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg.

“We regard ourselves as red, not yellow.”

Cloete said the membership of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA was not dependent on the political party someone supported.

He said Numsa members belonged to every political party “under the sun” in the country.

The union believed in tolerance of debate and there were no holy cows.

That is why there had not been a split in Numsa in the last 26 years.

“If we do not understand and appreciate that principle you are likely to trip and fall... (if) you don't understand that metalworkers in this country come from different political schools.”

At its national special congress in December last year Numsa resolved not to support the African National Congress in this year's general election.

Cloete described the congress as ground-breaking and said some people felt the union had made a “courageous decision”.

“The new liberal trajectory in the ANC runs very deep... essentially it is anti-working class,” he said. - Sapa