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South Africa

NUMSA’s Expulsion from COSATU - A sad day - a travesty of Justice

Statement by the Democratic Left Front (DLF)

Sunday 9 November 2014

Dear Comrades and friends of the workers’ movement in South Africa

It is a terribly sad day. NUMSA was expelled in the early hours of this morning. For the record the vote was 33 to 24. As Andrew Chriwa, President of NUMSA said, NUMSA is COSATU. It formed COSATU, with others of course. It shaped COSATU during its different phases and histories.

The working class will face greater and more bold attacks from the neoliberal state and from predatory capitalism. During this entire saga, we have seen COSATU under the leadership of Dlamini and Ntshalintshali capitulate before the youth wage subsidy, eTolls, NDP and perhaps most damning of all, defend the indefensible – the Marikana massacre.

The expulsion of NUMSA brings an end to COSATU as a fighting trade union. COSATU will degenerate further into essentially a sweetheart and bureaucratised union. NUMSA will continue to fight against this miscarriage of justice. It will fight to regroup the remaining and best elements of COSATU. It will fight for the ranks and file members of COSATU that led noble struggles against GEAR, the jobs bloodbath, privatisation, labour brokering, for decent work and a living wage and that stood in solidarity with the struggling masses of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, to just name a few.

It is a time for those who claim to be left, progressive and working class to be counted. They must regroup around the leadership of NUMSA and fight for a new COSATU that is militant, democratic, worker controlled, independent and socialist. This will open a new chapter in the history of the workers movement in South Africa. Now is not the time to mourn. We must organise.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

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