Cosatu axed me for standing up for Numsa - Vavi

2015-11-19 21:33
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

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Johannesburg - While Cosatu has previously said that Zwelinzima Vavi was dismissed from his general secretary post for gross misconduct, Vavi on Thursday insisted that he was fired for refusing to dismiss thousands of Numsa workers from the trade union federation.

"The real reason I was dismissed was that I could not find it in my conscience to implement a decision to dismiss 340 000 members of Numsa from their federation - a step that would undermine and eventually destroy the unity so painstakingly worked for by our forebearers," Vavi told journalists at a media briefing in Johannesburg.

Cosatu kicked Numsa out a year ago, while Vavi was dismissed from the trade union federation in March this year.

Cosatu's leadership wanted the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) to be replaced by the Liberated Metalworkers of SA [Limusa], which is now led by former Numsa leaders.

Vavi expressed that he had no regrets over his actions. He said an ANC task team, which had tried to facilitate the matter, had agreed that pushing Numsa out would have been wrong. 

He claimed that propaganda had since been spread to try and make the dismissal of the Numsa members sound better than it actually was. 

He questioned why the SA Municipal Workers' Union was not also dismissed when it refused to campaign for the ANC, oor finance union Sasbo for having a clause in its constitution that won’t allow it to associate with any political party. 

Meanwhile, Vavi announced that he would not be fighting to be reinstated.  

He explained that after receiving a letter informing him of his dismissal on March 31, he had anticipated the possibility that he would be given an opportunity to appeal his removal before the Special National Congress. 

"This did not happen. Just as in all other interventions to save the federation from imploding, my appeal was defeated by the faction enjoying a majority at the CEC, who publicly stated their mission to surgically remove Numsa and me," he said. 

Several allegations were made against Vavi before his departure from Cosatu.

Vavi was alleged to have boycotted Cosatu's CEC meetings in unison with some affiliates who announced they would stay away until Numsa was reinstated as a Cosatu member. 

In another incident, a report from auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo was alleged to have suggested impropriety in the sale of Cosatu's old head office. Allegations were that Vavi’s stepdaughter was involved in one of the companies that worked on the head office transaction.

In 2013, Vavi also found himself embroiled in a sex scandal when a junior Cosatu staffer claimed to have been sexually assaulted by him. 

Vavi denied the assault and claimed they had bee having an affair. 

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  labour

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