Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has welcomed the independent chairperson’s findings against its former second deputy president, Ruth Ntlokotse, who was on Thursday expelled as a member of the union.
In a statement, Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the union had been forced to issue a statement to address the matter due to “a continuation of misconduct by the former 2nd deputy president”.
Ntlokoste was found guilty on three charges by the independent panel led by labour relations practitioner Charlie Higgs.
Her expulsion from the Saftu-affiliated Numsa comes after Ntlokotse and 30 other members initiated a court process against Numsa before its congress in July 2022.
In August 2022, the Labour Court dismissed Ntlokotse’s contempt of court application. She had applied to the courts to have the congress declared null and void after it allegedly failed to comply with its constitution.
Ntlokotse had also accused Numsa of contempt of court for going ahead with the congress.
“It is a fact that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Numsa, which took place on the 3rd and 4th of May 2023, received the outcome of Ruth Ntlokotse’s case from an independent chairperson who recommended that she be expelled from the union. She was charged by the union for the following allegations and acts of misconduct as stated in the chairperson’s outcome report,” Hlubi-Majola said.
She said among the charges laid against Ntlokotse were gross insubordination by refusing to comply with a lawful and reasonable instruction to return the union’s motor vehicle, laptop and cellphone; failure to comply with the constitutional duties as a member and NOB of the union by objection to the GS deposing to an affidavit; and failure to comply with the constitutional duties as a member and NOB of the union by campaigning for the position of president of Saftu.
She said the union’s national executive committee (NEC) unanimously endorsed Ntokotse’s expulsion due to the nature and severity of her charges.
“The NEC further gave her seven days to appeal her case if she wishes to do so in line with Chapter 8 Clause 3 of the Numsa constitution,” she said.
“The union endorsed the expulsion of Ntlokotse. It communicated this decision to her. It was explained that she can appeal within seven days, as stated above. She immediately leaked the union correspondence onto social media and released the statement to News24. She has been giving various television interviews and continuing with the same misconduct of undermining the union and attacking its leadership in media houses,” Hlubi-Majola added.
Ntlokotse was unavailable for comment.
At the weekend, a defiant Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the country’s second-biggest trade union federation, told Independent Media that Ntlokotse was still Saftu president despite Numsa’s decision.
“She remains president of Saftu and will remain the president until Saftu decides otherwise! Saftu is not even aware that she is no longer a member to start with,” Vavi told the Sunday Independent.