Court application to force Cosatu to consider Numsa’s expulsion appeal during Special National Congress

A month ago, 11 May 2015, we scored a historic victory in defense of a worker-controlled and democratic Cosatu, at the South Gauteng High Court, where we reached a court settlement compelling Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini, to convene a Special National Congress (SNC), as requested by Affiliates in line with the constitutional provisions of the Federation.
The settlement affirmed the provisions of Cosatu’s constitution and buried the deliberate, continuous flouting underhand tactics and undemocratic disregard of Cosatu’s constitution by the current National Office Bearers (NOBs’) of Cosatu.
However, despite the ruling in favour of democratic trade unionism, the Cosatu NOBs’ are now trying to undermine the settlement by manipulating who can attend the Special National Congress (SNC) and the matters to be discussed there. This is a clear underhand strategy to influence the outcomes of the Special National Congress (SNC). The workers shall defeat such an agenda.
Numsa with the full support of the 8 affiliates will tomorrow, Tuesday 09 June 2015, be going to the South Gauteng High Court, to seek the court’s intervention to declare that Numsa remains an affiliate of Cosatu and to order Cosatu to do the following:
1. To ensure that Numsa’s full contingent of delegates as provided by Coatu’s Constitution in clause 3.2.2 is entitled to attend the Cosatu Special National Congress scheduled to be held on the 13 and 14 of July 2015.
2. Ensure that the Cosatu Special National Congress has the powers of any national congress.
3. That Limusa must not attend the Special National Congress.
When all these conditions are met, the Special National Congress (SNC) scheduled for 13-until-14 July 2015 will hear Numsa’s expulsion. This is our position.
For the 8 affiliates the SNC is about workers democratically reclaiming the federation to end the paralysis and to once again take up struggles in their class interest.
We strongly believe that the route we are taking is a legitimate and correct one, since the Special National Congress (SNC) has the powers to rescind Numsa’s expulsion.
We are appealing to all individual members of Cosatu to stand up and reclaim their federation. Those who can, must join us at the courts tomorrow.
The struggle to reclaim Cosatu is a struggle to return it to its founding principles of worker control and democracy.  We will also be challenging in court the imposition of Zingiswa Losi as the Cosatu 2nd Deputy President without having being elected by workers to represent them.  This is in direct contradiction with the Cosatu Constitution.  The insistence to socially engineer democratic outcomes had a set back at the NUM congress held last week.
Further, should Sidumo Dlamini and his friends get away with flouting the constitution of Cosatu in the manner they are doing, they will have set a very dangerous precedent in this country – a precedent whereby any one in office in any organization can simply run the organization on the basis of their personal interests, and not those of the members as properly contained in the constitution.  This will also spell the end of Cosatu as we have known it.
Sidumo Dlamini and his friends have opposed our application in their answering affidavits.
We are certain that we will once more emerge victorious, and such a victory will be appreciated by all class conscious workers as we continue our revolutionary task of reclaiming Cosatu to be an independent, worker-controlled, democratic, class orientated, anti-capitalist and militant Federation of workers, as opposed to a paralysed conveyor-belt of neoliberal, anti-working class policies and that serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful in our society.
A victory for NUMSA will also open up the real possibility of ensuring that Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi is also provided with an opportunity to make his case to the Special National Congress (SNC).
We extend our solidarity and congratulatory message to the National Union Mineworkers (NUM) for holding a successful 15th National Congress. We are emboldened by the revolutionary and principled articulation by its newly elected General Secretary cde David Sipunza, on forging maximum unity within the progressive trade union movement, particularly Cosatu.
The 8 affiliates are committed to work with the newly elected leadership of NUM, to rebuild Cosatu, as a shield and spear of the downtrodden; the marginalised; exploited and vulnerable workers of our country, including the poor. The current moment calls on workers to unite beyond the colours and logos of their unions, to take forward the struggles of workers against Budget cuts, e-tolls, golden handshakes, Eskom load-shedding and Privatisation, Eskom increase in tariffs, Eskom cutting supplies to municipalities, Eskom executive packages, labour broking, Nkandla, xenophobia work, corruption work, fight for Job creation and job security, unemployment, violence against women and children and a living wage, the assault on the founding pillars of our democracy particularly the Office of the Public Protector.  In this regard we will be convening a meeting with civil society organisations on Friday.
We the 8 affiliates are in full solidarity with all the public sector workers who are being undermined by the  intransient employers.  The wage agreement was in the first place hopelessly an insult to workers with an offer of 7% in the first year and CPI plus 1% in the subsequent years.
In addition the agreement has very discriminatory and divisive clauses with regards to the housing allowance and the medical aid.  Workers were already very aggrieved that their mandate was ignored and now to add insult to injury the employer says that they will actually be getting 6.4% in the first year.
This is a crises as it in the first place did not take into account the working conditions of public sector workers, how they strain to perform the tasks of more than one posts because of the many vacant posts in the system.
We the 8 affiliates demand a living wage for all public sector workers and an improvement in their working conditions as it affects quality public service delivery.
The current moment calls on workers to unite beyond the colours and logos of their unions, to take forward the struggles of workers against casualization, low wages, loadshedding and e-tolls. In the absence of a united and fighting Cosatu, we are experiencing a deepening of the crisis of unemployment, poverty and extreme inequalities, and ultimately xenophobia among the working class.
It is time to reclaim our federation!
Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 627 5197
Tel (dir): 011 689 1702