Today's Big Stories

Numsa and Cosatu continue battling it out

Setting the scene: reactions abound following a Friday night decision by Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) to expel its biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). Over the weekend, the ANC said this was bad news for the party - many people now believe that Cosatu is about to split, with NUMSA wanting to start a workers party. The South African political landscape is set to change dramatically as a result. EWN Correspondent, Govan Whittles with details from a media conference hosted by Numsa-supporting union leadership:

It seems that Cosatu is on the verge of a large-scale walkout by 8 unions which represent 900 workers, meaning losing half of their membership. They are also discussing what to do going forward while also getting a fresh mandate, given shifts in the federation. There's also been a call by union leaders to get rid of the existing leadership of the federation. The only way that Numsa could be reinstated would be if a special congress would be called by Cosatu and Cosatu President, Sdumo Dlamini is avoiding this, due to the threat that his leadership would be removed. The union leadership have meanwhile expressed that they would like Vavi to remain within the federation leadership.

Meanwhile, Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini has expressed his disappointment of Founding General- Secretary Jay Naidoo's harsh critism on 702's John Robbie Show, questioning whether Cosatu really still existed as a workers union federation:

Indeed, what the CEC has done to expel Numsa was an unprecedented action in the history of the labour movement and not only for Cosatu. They would have reached this decision with a heavy heart and it is not one that is celebrated by workers. When the CEC reached that point, they would have tried all to avoid the situation - you know all the interventions. On my former leader, Comrade Jay Naidoo - I was very disappointed by his comments. We didn't expect that of him, he should have done what other former leaders have done before and that is to come to assist Cosatu in having the situation resolved. He's been consistent in attacking us. What I can assure him - as my former leader - is that Cosatu is not dead and will rise up from this.

Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Professor Steven Friedman comments on whether this means a seismic shift in our politics:

In order for that to happen: there must be a serious split in Cosatu, with members from other unions leaving Cosatu and forming a new federation with Numsa. Second is this talk of a formation of a new politcal workers' party. If those two things were to happen, then things would change very dramatically. But it's very early days because there is still the matter of impending court action over the expulsion.

A Godly 'Man of Purpose' dies: confirmation by EWN that the well known international preacher and author Dr Myles Monroe has died after his private jet crashed into a crane on the runway at Grand Bahama international Airport in the Bahamas overnight. Monroe was well known around the world, writing many books inspirational books, inspired by the teachings of the Bible. Founder and Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Church, Bishop Mosa Sono:

I think it's a shock not only to us but the whole world, since he impacted the whole world. He impacted leadership with his teachings from the bible. Through his speaking on purpose and about people reaching their potential, he truly left a legacy behind. He passed on with his wife and his child - he was a good family man.

SA sells a car that failed some international tests: the Business Day notes how the hatchback vehicle, Datsun Go, has failed a crash test but is still being sold here by Nissan. The organization Global N-Cap says the body structure of this car is so weak it would be useless to install an airbag. Datsun SA Brand Manager, Des Fenner:

If we looked at it globally, in the US, UK and Australia, there are different tests conducted, so there aren't the same standards that apply. We (in South Africa) do tests that are conducted throughout the world, but our tests conducted locally did give the car the all-clear. These regulations are constantly evolving.

Bokom Haram strikes again: confirmation that 47 students have been killed by a suicide bomber in North East Nigeria after an attack on a school. EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale:

It happened at a government school and it is one of the sites of attack by Boko Haram. It happened during the morning assembly around 07:00 this morning. While reports say 47, the number of deceased children may increase and we may well have as much as 60 students being killed.

Commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall: the anniversary over the weekend of this divisive structure, which started to come down this week in 1989. One of the big events that happened before it started to fall was a speech by then US president Ronald Reagan in 1987. Stephen Laufer is a South African who became a German citizen and worked for the US embassy office, later working for the Berlin government:

I remember the speech (by Reagan) very well and I wrote the mayor's speech (Berlin's mayor). We were a million miles away from believing that the Cold War could ever end. In the months ahead of the wall coming down, there were German parties that were in deep crisis. There was a deep sense of unhappiness. Without the end of the Cold War, there would not have been the space for the negotiations following the release of Nelson Mandela that ultimately lead to the 1994 elections. I believe the two things are connected to each other.

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