Judge dismisses application accusing NUMSA of contempt of court
Former second Deputy President Ruth Ntlokotse claimed the union failed to comply with the order of Justice Moshoana, which interdicted the congress.
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. Picture: Michel Bega
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has welcomed the decision of the Labour court today to dismiss the contempt of court application which was lodged by the former second Deputy President Ruth Ntlokotse.
Ntlokotse filed an urgent application at the Labour court where she asked it to overturn the decisions of the National Congress and have the court declare the 11th National Congress as null and void.
She claimed that the union failed to comply with the order of Justice Moshoana, which interdicted the congress.
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On this basis, she wanted the court to declare the NUMSA General Secretary Comrade, Irvin Jim, and the president, Andrew Chirwa, in contempt of court and she wanted them to be jailed as punishment for continuing with the congress.
The arguments were heard on Friday, 19 August.
But in his judgement, Justice Van Niekerk declared: “In so far as the applicant contends that the resolutions adopted by the special meeting of central committee and the reconvening of the national congress on 27 July 2022, all constitute breaches of the court order and thus acts of contempt of court, it does not seem to me that a decision taken to postpone the commencement of the national congress until such time as the union fully complied with its constitution, constitutes a breach of the order. On the contrary it is indicative of compliance with the order”.
Justice Van Niekerk went on to say: “I am not persuaded that the applicant has established a breach of the order beyond a reasonable doubt” as part of his reasons for dismissing the application.
The judge also ordered that each party must pay its own costs.
NUMSA has maintained that it complied with the order of Justice Moshoana and this is why it proceeded with the congress.