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Numsa woes far from over

A court bid challenging the outcomes of the recent Numsa congress has been lodged. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

A court bid challenging the outcomes of the recent Numsa congress has been lodged. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 3, 2022

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Suspended deputy president of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) Ruth Ntlokotse is forging ahead with a contempt of court application that could unseat newly re-elected Andrew Chirwa and Irvin Jim.

The application, set to be heard in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Friday, seeks to nullify the recent Numsa congress, held in Cape Town, and declare it invalid for allegedly not complying with an earlier interdict.

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On July 23, Judge Graham Moshoana granted Ntlokotse an order declaring her suspension and other members unconstitutional, invalid and unenforceable in law.

Numsa was also interdicted and restrained from proceeding with its national congress from July 25 to 29 in Cape Town until it fully complied with its own constitution.

Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) at the recent 11th national congress. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Numsa lodged an appeal against the court ruling last week Monday and the court later dismissed it and upheld the earlier decision.

Ntlokotse has now also asked the court to declare invalid the nominations, elections and resolutions of the congress.

In an affidavit, Ntlokotse said the union did not comply with the court order by not allowing the biggest region, Mpumalanga, to fully participate in the congress.

She said the union’s central committee did not have powers in terms of the constitution to place a number of its members, including herself, under precautionary suspension.

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She further challenged the appointment of a credentials committee to deal with the credentials of delegates.

“In this instance and to date hereof, the central committee did not appoint a credentials committee. Instead it acted as one. Such conduct is unconstitutional,” said Ntlokotse.

She further claimed that some of the delegates who attended the congress were not in good standing as they were either no longer employed or were assigned to vote under a region they did not belong to.

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The Western Cape region and some members from Ekurhuleni walked out of the congress last week in protest against the suspensions and the non-participation of Mpumalanga.

Numsa confirmed that it would “defend” itself in court but declined to comment further.

“Numsa is focused on resolving motor and auto (industry) talks and ensuring the work of the union continues uninterrupted. We will not engage in the media at this time,” said spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.

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