Numsa dumps ANC, calls for Zuma's head

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FILE: Numsa secretary Irvin Jim said the leadership of Cosatu was manipulating who could attend a special national congress.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA will not support the ANC in next year&39;s elections, general secretary Irvin Jim said on Friday.

The union would also stop paying contributions to the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and SA Communist Party, he told delegates at the union&39;s special national congress in Boksburg on the East Rand.

"Numsa as an organisation will neither endorse nor support the ANC or any other political party in 2014."

Union members had the constitutional right to vote, but union members and officials would campaign in their own time and with their own resources.

"Any individual member is entitled in their own time to be active in any political party, including getting elected to leadership positions.

"However, no Numsa office bearer is allowed to hold any office bearer position of any political party," he said.

Jim also said the union wanted President Jacob Zuma to step down. 

"The congress called on President Jacob Zuma to resign with immediate effect because of his administration&39;s pursuit of neo-liberal policies, such as the NDP [National Development Plan], e-tolls, labour brokers... and the track record of his administration which is steeped in corruption, patronage and nepotism," he said.

Numsa also called on Cosatu to break from the ANC-led alliance.

"The time for looking for an alternative has arrived," Jim said to applause by delegates at the union&39;s special national congress in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

He said Numsa would lead a new united front.

"The task of this front will be to fight for the implementation of the freedom charter and to be the organisational weapon against neo-liberal policies such as the NDP [National Development Plan]," he said.

Numsa would push for a Cosatu special congress.

"Failing the convening of the Cosatu special national congress by president [Sidumo Dlamini] we will invoke clause 3.3.2.2 of the federation&39;s constitution. This clause states that the Cosatu central executive committee can appoint a convenor for the special national congress."

As part of the fight, Numsa should withhold subscription fees from Cosatu until it convened a congress.

"We will organise a march to Cosatu House to push the Cosatu leadership to accede to the clarion call for a special national congress and withdrawal of charges against [suspended] Cosatu general secretary [Zwelinzima Vavi]."

He said the march should coincide with the first Cosatu central executive meeting in February 2014.

Vavi was suspended from Cosatu after he had an affair with a junior employee at the union federation&39;s headquarters.

*This article has been updated with more comments from Irvin Jim.

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