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numSowetan reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) goes into its national elective congress on Wednesday divided over who should lead it and with the infighting threatening to rip the union apart.  

Relations between the union’s president Piet Matosa and general secretary David Sipunzi have deteriorated so much that they are apparently not on speaking terms.  At the centre of the disagreements between the pair is their preferred leadership slates for the congress.  Sipunzi, who wants to retain his position, will square up against Carletonville regional secretary Mbuyiseni Hibana, whom Matosa supports Hibana to replace Sipunzi.  Matosa is being challenged for the president’s position by NUM deputy president Joseph Montisetsi, whom Sipunzi supports.  Matosa has threatened to expose members who have used money to influence the leadership outcome of the congress, saying the danger of having a leadership sponsored through money was that the union would end up with a leadership which was not capable of leading.  An informed source said that out of 11 NUM regions, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Matlosana, Carletonville and Rustenburg – the biggest NUM region in terms of numbers – have nominated Matosa.  Montisetsi apparently has the support of four regions – PWV, North East, Free State and Highveld.

  • Read more of this Sowetan report by Ngwako Modjadji at SA Labour News

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