NUMSA GS says journalist falsely claims there are talks in place for union to return to COSATU
NUMSA condemns Sunday World for publishing fake news
28 March 2022
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has noted an article published in the Sunday World on the 27th of March. The headline reads “COSATU woos NUMSA as SAFTU implodes”. In the article the journalist, George Matlala falsely claims that there are talks taking place with the leadership of NEHAWU and NUMSA, for the union to return to COSATU. The journalist then goes on to peddle the lie that it is these so-called behind the scenes negotiations that are to blame for the “implosion” at SAFTU. We want to state for the record there is no truth to these allegations. George Matlala sent questions to the NUMSA leadership where he asked us to confirm or deny if the allegation that NUMSA is in talks to return to COSATU are true. Comrade Irvin Jim the General Secretary of NUMSA was explicit about rubbishing these absurd allegations, when he said: “My response to you is that this is a lie, there has not been such a discussion.” But despite this very clear reply, the journalist went on to publish this nonsense.
The facts are as follows. Comrade Irvin Jim greeted the general secretary of NEHAWU comrade Zola Saphetha at the SAFTU NEC meeting on Thursday last week, and spoke to him briefly for not more than 5 minutes. That greeting has now been interpreted as confirmation that NUMSA is in discussions to return to COSATU. How absurd! We reject these allegations with the contempt they deserve. George Matlala and the Sunday World are churning out rumors and gossip, and dressing it up as news. But this is not surprising. Sunday World is after all, a sensationalist tabloid rag, so we should not be surprised that their desperation to sell copy, has reduced them to peddlers of fake news, and that is why they published this drivel.
We want to state very clearly for the record there are no talks, and there have never been any talks by the leadership of NUMSA to negotiate a return to COSATU. This is clearly a campaign by enemies of the union to drive a wedge between the union leadership and its members. These enemies are using the media to influence the upcoming national congress in the hope that they can anoint their own successors, by casting aspersions on the current leadership of the union.
The same agents have made the ridiculous claim that NUMSA’s obsession with SRWP is the reason that SAFTU is imploding. They claim that NUMSA, through the General Secretary, is attempting to impose the SRWP onto SAFTU. Again, this is blatantly false because SAFTU has a very clear position on political parties. The federation is independent and has not aligned itself with any political party. At the same time, there are others, who are politically bankrupt, who peddle the ridiculous claim that the NUMSA leadership is working 24/7 with RET faction of the ANC. How can the NUMSA leadership be said to be negotiating a return to COSATU, but at the same time, it is also being accused of trying to impose SRWP on SAFTU, and at the same time it’s a member of the RET? This is why we are dismissing these claims and we urge our