No comment on Vavi: Cosatu

By Drum Digital
04 August 2013

Cosatu would not confirm reports on Sunday that its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi would face a disciplinary hearing.

"We not commenting on reports," Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said.

According to The Sunday Independent, Vavi would face a hearing for bringing the trade union federation into disrepute, after he admitted to having an affair with a married junior employee. This week, she withdrew her sexual harassment grievance against him.

Cosatu's regular top officials meeting, which would be held on Monday, would reportedly call for a special sitting of the central executive committee to initiate disciplinary charges against Vavi.

According to the newspaper, Vavi would face three charges: having sex at Cosatu's headquarters with a junior staff member, irregularly appointing her, and bringing the organisation into disrepute.

Vavi was reportedly supported by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the SA Municipal Workers' Union and the Food and Allied Workers' Union. He also reportedly had support from the SA Democratic Teachers' Union and the SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union.

Those wanting to oust Vavi were reportedly the National Union of Mineworkers, the National Health, Education and Allied Workers' Union and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim told the newspaper that to call for a disciplinary committee on a matter that had been dealt with was problematic.

"When it was before Cosatu... it was withdrawn... We have no reason for a DC [disciplinary committee] on a matter as vague as the one that has not been tested... That looks more like a political plot than anything else," he was quoted as saying.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini condemned those who claimed Vavi was a victim of a political conspiracy.

"People should not play that card on this matter. There is no political conspiracy. I discourage those who repeat this lie," he told the newspaper.

Dlamini would not be drawn on whether Vavi was facing a disciplinary hearing, which could lead to him losing his job.

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