Johannesburg - Former general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Frans Baleni, has ruled out any chance of him taking up a position as the general secretary of embattled labour federation, Cosatu.
In an interview with Independent Media, Baleni said he would focus on his family after his ousting from the influential union. “Frans Baleni is not for sale. I have no desire to be involved in the leadership of the federation,” he said.
New general secretary, David Sipunzi was chosen to replace Baleni by the majority of the 700 delegates who voted at the union’s 15th national congress on Friday night. He was NUM secretary in the Free State. Baleni shook hands with Sipunzi and other newly elected office bearers after the announcement and vowed to support the new leadership which will be led by union president, Piet Matosa. “They must unite the union. Normally after elections people tend to maintain the campaigning mode. The new leadership needs to move fast to unite the union,” said Baleni.
His sentiments were echoed by Cosatu president, Sdumo Dlamini who spoke to Independent Media from Geneva. He urged the new leadership to prioritise unity within the union and the federation. “We should welcome the congress decision of the union. Democracy works that way. We hope comrades were informed by the needs of the organisation and they must move on to unite NUM,” he said.
Sipunzi, Baleni and other leaders of NUM will congregate at the Beatrix Mine in the Free State on Saturday, where a rally is being held to communicate decisions of the congress to members.