Numsa Northern Cape under investigation

Numsa Northern Cape under investigation by commissionThe last Numsa Central Committee (CC) in July was not a happy meeting for Numsa's Northern Cape region.

Questions were asked of all their delegates – just who were they representing? 

The Commissioners – from left to right: Zanoxolo Wayile, Reuben Nkontwana, Thabang Tsiboli and Motsamai Ponya

Accusations and counter-accusations were traded across the room with one faction claiming that they represented the region, while another claimed that the election process for regional office bearers held earlier this year in the regional congress was not legitimate and therefore the previous regional office bearers should still hold office.

The CC resolved to set up a commission of four regional office bearers from other Numsa regions to investigate the issue.

They were given these terms of reference:* investigate thoroughly all the alleged irregularities that have taken place in the regional congress that took place in April 2008 including auditing all other organisational challenges* based on these findings, the commission has to recommend as to whether the regional congress has to be reconvened or the status quo to be maintained in terms of the regional congress outcomes* investigate the source of the alleged organisational disunity and lack of cohesion that has been dogging the region for a long time* identify the organisational weaknesses, political threats and challenges of the organisation * examine the relationship between the locals, regional office bearers and officials including any negative impacts on the quality of service to members on a sustainable basis* identify hotspots or flash point areas that need urgent political intervention from the national union* identify any kind of misconduct committed either by any leader across all levels of the organisation, be they officials, regional office bearers, local office bearers, shop stewards or national office bearers.

In their investigations, the commission has interviewed local office bearers as well as organisers in the Northern Cape.

“If someone's name is mentioned by these individuals that we haven't already interviewed then we bring that person in as well,” say the commissioners. Sometimes their interviews have extended deep in to the early hours of the next morning.

Despite having the terms of reference from the CC, they were also concerned to really understand the importance of their work.“We had to look to the Numsa constitution, especially to the preamble to guide us,” says Wayile.

The preamble sets out conditions that must be fulfilled to achieve maximum unity so as to achieve Numsa's objectives. “If there are questions about the credibility of leaders, then we won't be able to achieve the preamble and so our objectives,” says Wayile.

Although they were meant to report to the August NEC, they did not manage to finish their task in time but hope to report to the next NEC.“We are a fact-finding commission.

We can only make recommendations. The commission cannot solve problems,” say the commissioners. “The NEC or CC will have to decide on the basis of our recommendations what to do.”

However, they are confident that some proposals can be responded to. “Our concern is to see the quality of service improving. There are challenges of capacity in the region,” they say.


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