Sadtu president ‘shocked’ by suspension over Vavi affair

2013-08-14 08:36

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Sadtu president Thobile Ntola has been suspended from the union.

He said he was suspended for giving Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi a platform to address SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) members in the Eastern Cape and for commenting in the media that Sadtu’s Eastern Cape region had accepted Vavi’s apology, the Mail & Guardian reported on its website yesterday.

“I guess they [Vavi’s enemies in Sadtu] did not want me to attend Cosatu’s special central executive committee meeting tomorrow. They [Sadtu leaders] are not supported by ordinary members. Sadtu members on the ground are supporting Vavi,” said Ntola.

Last month, a junior employee at Cosatu accused Vavi of rape. He admitted to having a sexual affair with the woman but said it was consensual.

The woman subsequently withdrew her sexual harassment complaint against him.

Cosatu will hold a special central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg today where Vavi could reportedly face possible sanction for his admission of the affair.

Ntola said he was shocked by his suspension because he did not personally invite Vavi to address the workers in the Eastern Cape.

He also did not understand why Sadtu top leaders took issue with the fact that he commented in the media.

“I am the president of Sadtu. I don’t understand why I can’t answer questions from journalists,” he said.

The National Union of Metalworkers SA along with the Eastern Cape SA Municipal Workers’ Union have come out in support of Vavi.

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