Contested credentials process stalls Cosatu congress

Contested credentials process stalls Cosatu congress

JOHANNESBURG – THE  contentious issue of delegate credentials stalled the Cosatu national special congress on Monday as delegates brought forward motions before credentials could be adopted.

Journalists stood outside the plenary hall for over two hours, waiting for the credential session to be completed. The media was, for the first time in Cosatu’s history, thrown out of the congress as it was about to go through the credentials process.

Cosatu acting spokesman Norman Mampane said delegates would vote on motions tabled.

”There were motions tabled regarding the credentials and delegates are now going to vote on those motions,” he told journalists waiting outside the hall. He would not explain which motions were to be voted on when questioned by members of the media.

There were reports that some delegates were not supposed to be at the emotionally-charged congress.

The nine unions that wanted the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) reinstated were against the presence of new union, the Liberated Metal Workers of South Africa (Limusa) and the eligibility of Cosatu’s second deputy president Zingiswa Losi.

The country’s biggest trade union federation is holding a special national congress that ends on Tuesday, amid its deepest crisis since its formation in 1985. The federation has been marred by deep divisions and factionalism that reached boiling point after the expulsion of Numsa and Cosatu’s former secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Numsa, which was the biggest affiliate in terms of membership, was expelled last year for bringing the federation into disrepute. This was followed by the expulsion of Vavi in March.

At least nine Cosatu affiliates who have aligned themselves with Numsa and Vavi, have vowed to argue Numsa’s case at the congress, although Cosatu had indicated that the Vavi and Numsa issue was not on the agenda for the congress. – ANA