The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) dealt a major blow to its affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) on Tuesday, by rejecting its newly registered Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP). The party, which was founded by Numsa, hopes to attract workers’ support as it considers whether or not to contest the 2019 national elections. The rejection also signals what has been described as “fraught” relations between Numsa and Saftu leaders. Saftu was formed in the wake of Zwelinzima Vavi and Numsa's expulsion from union federation Cosatu. Vavi was general secretary of that labour federation, and took up the same position at Saftu. In a statement issued on Tuesday after its national executive committee (NEC) meeting, Saftu reiterated its political independence, saying it would “resist being stampeded into becoming a labour desk for, or forming an alliance with, any political party”. Instead, Saftu said it would discuss the possibility of forming a...

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