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Trial against South African metalworkers union NUMSA to resume

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Trial against South African metalworkers union NUMSA to resume

NUMSA supporters protest
NUMSA supporters protest
South Africa courts will decide the status of officeholders of the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) following internal squabbles – Photo: Gallo Images

South Africa’s Labour Court will decide the status of officeholders of the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) today.

The court will hear a petition from former office holder Ruth Ntlokotse, which contends that NUMSA’s national congress was held illegally following a ruling handed out by the Labour Court on July 23. The ruling found that NUMSA’s central committee violated its constitution by suspending several members, including Ruth Ntlokotse, among other violations. The officials were suspended by NUMSA after raising concerns about millions of rands being siphoned off of a subsidiary of the union’s investment company, 3Sixty Life.

NUMSA is South Africa’s largest trade union, with over 300,000 members, manufacturing for brands such as Ford and BMW. The union also provides crucial financial support to the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) which was set to hold a national strike on August 24 increased costs of living and slowed economic growth.

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Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Tensions between SAFTU and NUMSA leaders have been exacerbated by the court case. Expect the tension between both organizations to result in a severely weakened national protest as NUMSA will likely withhold crucial funds to SAFTU, NAMSU is also expected to withdraw support which will reduce the protest size by half.

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