The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is adamant that it will go ahead with its national congress in Cape Town despite a court interdict against it.
Numsa’s special central committee (SCC) meeting on Tuesday (July 26), resolved to appeal the Labour Court’s interdict and to convene the union’s 11th national congress from Wednesday to Friday.
The planned massive, multimillion-rand congress, remained in limbo on Friday, after the Johannesburg Labour Court Judge Graham Moshoana reserved judgment.
The case was brought by the union’s second vice chairman and President of the South African Commerce Union Confederation (Saftu), Ruth Ntlokotse, challenging the constitutionality of her suspension, along with other shop stewards and elected leaders of South Africa’s largest trade union.
Numsa said in a statement on Wednesday, that it believed it had rectified the Labour Court’s concerns regarding the national congress, which was supposed to start on Monday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
The union said the SCC decided that no suspensions should be re-imposed and that the individuals, who were previously suspended, will be permitted to attend and participate in the congress.
“However, this occurs without prejudice to Numsa to proceed with appropriate disciplinary action against anyone who has misconducted themselves or who had brought the name of Numsa into disrepute. The Central Committee has not exonerated those who had acted as such.”
“Numsa is accordingly satisfied that, as a law-abiding trade union, it is acting in accordance with the Labour Court judgment,” Numsa added.
The union said its SCC meeting resolved that the congress would proceed as planned, as a cancellation of the event with delegates already present at the CTICC would result in wasted costs amounting to R39 million.
The statement said the union would do this “in full compliance with the Labour Court’s judgment”.